Justin Bieber Quits World Tour - Is He Seeking a New Purpose?
CBN News Efrem Graham
Like so many, I have long admired the endless talents of Justin Bieber. I am a "Belieber." But these days, his every move sparks reactions from fans and critics alike.
The latest "Bieber Buzz" is about exactly why the pop star pulled the plug on the remaining 14 stops of his Purpose tour.
Bieber has been on tour for the last two years. And when a TMZ crew caught him near the beach in Santa Monica Monday, he said he was "just resting, getting some relaxation."
He also told fans, "I love you guys. You guys are awesome. I am sorry for anybody who feels disappointed or betrayed. It's not my heart or anything. And have a blessed day."
Bieber says he needs rest. But that has not quieted the speculation about the many other possible reasons why he has ended the tour.
TMZ quotes sources connected to Hillsong Church who say Justin ended the world music run because he "rededicated his life to Christ."
A European media outlet even claims Bieber is trading the music business to start his own church. But a new TMZ video shows the paparazzi asking Bieber if he "cancelled the tour for religious reasons." Beiber says "No."
While I strongly doubt young Justin is looking to start a congregation of "Beliebers," I do believe his personal faith walk is a significant part of why he walked away from the tour. And the proof may just be on Twitter and Instagram.
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Many of Bieber's most recent social media posts display him hanging out with his popular pastors Carl Lentz from Hillsong New York and Judah Smith from City Church in Seattle.
We've also seen Justin Bieber rocking out at Hillsong Young and Free concerts.
He recently shared a post, declaring the Christian band's single "Falling Into You" as his favorite. Band member Melodie Wagner is the lead soloist on that song.
Reacting to Bieber's love for the band, Wagner told me, "I think it is really cool that someone as influential as him is making a stand for Jesus. And the fact that he is listening to worship music and he can use his platform to get the message out about Jesus and who he is and what he has done is just an honor."
We have seen signs of a changing Bieber for more than a year, as his Purpose tour traveled the world.
In a year-old interview with Complex Magazine, he said, "My faith has gotten me to where I am. My faith has brought me to a whole other level. I love talking about my faith."
"I just wanna honestly live like Jesus," he said. "Not be Jesus — I could never — I don't want that to come across weird. He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind."
Ending the tour may just be Bieber's latest way of following that "pretty awesome template." Like so many, I will be watching — and praying — for his next move.