Justin Bieber has reportedly cut out marijuana, distracting friends, and anything else in his life that could be considered a bad influence.
The news comes after the 20-year-old’s recent split from on-off girlfriend Selena Gomez, and amid ongoing, religious guidance from Pastor Judah Smith of the Seattle-based The City Church and Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC church. Both are longtime advisers of the star.
Bieber is openly Christian and sports several religious tattoos. His mother, Pattie Mallette, is a born-again advocate and author.
Previously, the Inquisitr reported that the singer revealed he had given up smoking weed during an online exchange with fans on Sunday, November 16.
Responding to one fan’s “smoke weed” quip when he was asked how he was spending his day, Bieber replied via the Fahlo app.
He wrote, “I’m off that. Making a change in my life.”
Additionally, after Justin was spotted at Rancho Mirage outside Palm Springs in California this past weekend with Pastor Smith, TMZ claims the star is set to spend two weeks there with Lentz, who has yet to join the singer and Smith on the West Coast.
The site also obtained a photo of the singer in conversation with an unidentified individual with Lentz’s book “Occupy All Streets” seen in the picture. Lentz taught a four-week series back in January about Christians working for social change and spread the word of God.
A Palm Springs news site reports local Facebook group claimed Bieber visited a “high-end realty office” in Rancho Mirage. However, talk of the singer buying a desert place appears to be speculative.
While it’s not known how long the Canadian has been marijuana-free, the singer’s weed habit was first exposed in January 2013, after TMZ published pictures of Justin smoking what appeared to be a blunt in a Newport Beach hotel room with friends including rappers Lil Twist and Lil Za — real names, Christopher Moore and Xavier Smith, respectively.
Although Bieber went on to apologize for his indiscretion in a skit on Saturday Night Live, which he hosted one month later, the singer continued smoking marijuana as a toxicology report showed after his January 23, 2014, arrest in Miami Beach on suspicion of DUI.
The report revealed the presence of the active ingredient in marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in Bieber’s system at the time of arrest. No trace of opiates were found, which negated tabloid claims of sizzurp use.
Further legal woes followed, including a misdemeanor vandalism charge for egging his ex-neighbor’s house in January. Last week, an Argentine judge issued Bieber with a 60-day deadline court summons to appear in Buenos Aires to answer questions about an alleged assault of a paparazzo by one of his bodyguards in Argentina last November.
However, since the heartthrob’s breakup with Gomez after their Paris Fashion Week trip in September, Bieber has embarked on a religious intensive involving numerous church visits to Hillsong NYC and a bible study meet with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The singer reportedly stayed with Lentz’s family in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, over the past two weeks.
At the end of October, Lentz and Bieber were spotted in Glen Ridge, the bordering town of Montclair and the Manhattan Center, where Lentz leads six services on Sundays. The duo were also seen at basketball games.
Here’s a photo of @justinbieber at my kids’ school today. pic.twitter.com/aQmmcGBl0E via @biebbodyguards
— Charles Ornstein (@charlesornstein) October 28, 2014
Dubbed the “Hipster Pastor” because of his numerous tattoos, Mohawk haircut, and trendy clothes, Lentz founded Hillsong NYC in October 2010 with Joel Houston as an offshoot of the Pentecostal Hillsong megachurch in Sydney, Australia.
“I’m going to pray for this boy to make it,” Lentz recently told the New York Post. He vowed when he first met the then 14-year-old Bieber at a New Jersey concert in 2008, after Smith introduced them.
“I have a special role in Justin’s life, spiritually, but… I’m not a life-motivational guy,” added Lentz, “We’re talking about making sure his life remains a blessing, not a burden.”
Urging compassion for the singer’s struggles, the 36-year-old pastor declared, “He’s on a journey. If he’s not doing good, should we abandon him?”
TMZ previously reported Lentz baptized Bieber in a bathtub earlier this year while the star was allegedly being extorted over childhood footage of him cluelessly using the N-word.
Justin previously tweeted that he “broke down” during one of Lentz’s services in New York last September.
Bieber’s recent Instagram posts appear to reflect his renewed focus on Christianity and his determination to remove non-beneficial habits from his lifestyle.
In one snap, Bieber is seen writing in a journal. It was captioned, “The old is gone the new is here.”
The line is taken from 2 Corinthians 5:17 in the Bible: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come — The old has gone, the new is here.”
Daily Mail Online reports a bible reference site explains that the “old” indicates attitudes of the personality which are replaced with “new things, full of life and the glory of God.”
“The newborn soul delights in the things of God and abhors the things of the world and the flesh.”
It seems Bieber is serious about redirecting his life in positive ways.