I didn’t ever see myself writing about Justin Bieber, but when he makes a statement like, “I just wanna honestly live like Jesus,” it’s hard not to write something. For those who might not be in the loop, over the last few years Bieber has been busy pushing boundaries and breaking laws. Some of his wrap sheet includes reckless driving, multiple vandalism charges, drugs, alcohol, multiple arrests, resisting arrest, and assault. This doesn’t even include the variety of other scandals and questionable behaviors he has displayed. So, when Justin Bieber says he wants to live like Jesus, it’s going to attract attention.
On the surface this sounds great. When someone honestly seeks to turn their life towards the Lord, there is nothing better. However, a recent article gave further insight into his thoughts, “The singer clarified that he’s ‘not religious,’ as he’s bothered by the ‘really weird stuff going on at churches’ and the holier-than-thou attitude of certain Christians. The key to being Christian, Bieber said is having ‘this connection that you feel there’s no insecurities’ – not simply enjoying fellowship at church. ‘You don’t need to go to church to be a Christian. If you go to Taco Bell, that doesn’t make you a taco’” (Yahoo).
In other words, it seems Justin Bieber’s plan is to be more like Jesus without having much or anything to do with the church. When we compare this to Scripture, it becomes quite clear that it is impossible to be like Jesus and be right with God while having nothing to do with the church. Consider the following:
- Jesus died for the church (Ephesians 5:25).
- The church is Jesus’ body (Ephesians 1:22-23).
- The church is God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13-14).
- The church is God’s family (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 1:5).
- We’re told not to “forsake the assembly” of the church (Hebrews 10:25).
A very popular mindset in our culture today is to follow Jesus and reject the church. Doing this means we reject Jesus’ body, God’s kingdom, and God’s family, which makes it impossible to be part of His body, kingdom, or family. God places a major emphasis on the importance and holiness of the church. If anyone wants to be close to Jesus, then worship and fellowship with the church is a necessity.
Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Being religious (saying “Lord, Lord”) or even being a “good person” isn’t enough. Living like Jesus means, “doing the will of the Father.” Living like Jesus means diligent obedience to God. Living like Jesus means actively working and worshipping with the church. For his soul’s sake, I hope Justin Bieber can become a true follower of the Lord, but only time will tell the real story. For us, let’s make sure that we are “living like Jesus” according to His terms, not our own. The church must be include in this (Acts 2:38-47).