Update: The Jewish Journal is reporting Bieber didn’t meet a rabbi at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“He met with no rabbi. He came, enjoyed playing [table tennis], he does stuff here; it’s not the first time he’s come,” Brian Greene, executive director of Westside JCC, confirmed to the Journal in a phone call on Thursday evening.
“He [Bieber] is not looking for any spiritual revival as far as I can tell. There’s a table tennis center… he enjoys playing table tennis. That’s all I can tell you. The paparazzi decided he was visiting with a rabbi, [but] I’m telling you it’s not true.”
Justin Bieber allegedly spent three hours with a rabbi at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday, November 19.
In fact, Jewish Business News points out the Westside Center does not have a rabbi on its staff.
TMZ previously claimed the 20-year-old would be receiving spiritual instruction in Rancho Mirage, just outside Palm Springs, from his friend, pastor Carl Lentz. It’s currently unclear if the singer will be staying on in L.A.
The gossip site further claimed Bieber has now embarked on a “self-proclaimed mission to learn how to spread the word of God.”
However, no sources were cited to substantiate this.
Indeed, the site admitted, “It’s unclear if Biebs will take the next step and become a full-blown proselytizer.”
This seems to be based on a bystander-obtained snap of the star sitting at a table with an unidentified individual next to a copy of Pastor Lentz’s book Occupy All Streets, reportedly taken in Rancho Mirage on Monday, November 17.
Bieber was also seen with pastor Judah Smith of Seattle’s The City Church while in Palm Springs over the weekend.
But while the book teaches how to spread the gospel and be an example of Christianity in everyday situations, there is no evidence whatsoever of Bieber himself saying he is on any mission to spread the word of God.
The Inquisitr previously reported Justin revealed he has stopped smoking marijuana and is “making a change” in his life during an online exchange with fans on November 16.
It has also been reported and verified that Bieber stayed at Lentz’s familial home in New Jersey during the last week of October into early November.
During that time, Bieber attended numerous services at the Hillsong NYC Church, where Lentz is the lead pastor and co-founder in 2010 as an offshoot of the Pentecostal Hillsong megachurch in Sydney, Australia.
The pair were also seen at the Pittsburgh Steelers Bible Study group on November 8 and at various basketball games.
Although Justin was raised a Christian by his born-again mom, Pattie Mallette, it’s possible the Canadian may be looking at broadening his understanding of other faiths. But, as with the claim of Bieber being on a “mission,” it isn’t actually known what he was doing for three hours at the Jewish Community Center.
Later Wednesday, the singer was seen leaving Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills, carrying a takeout container of sorbet. A video on X17‘s website clearly shows pastor Judah Smith sitting in Bieber’s Rolls-Royce.
Two eyewitnesses later claimed Bieber went to a bible study meeting in Los Angeles that was also attended by the now free agent NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow.
— Cheyanne Lent (@cameraCHEYTV) November 20, 2014
— Colton Dixon (@coltondixon) November 20, 2014
While it’s somewhat inevitable that media outlets have blown up Bieber’s decision to give up weed and his recent religious intensive into a “mission,” with some claiming he is only doing so to “win back his former girlfriend Selena Gomez,” it’s more than likely Bieber has, and is, making changes in his life because he thinks it’s necessary.
Is the hyperbole in current reporting building Bieber’s religious step-up to lofty heights, so it can later be claimed he didn’t live up to them?
[Images via X17online.]