Justin Bieber took to social media on Monday to deny his association with Hillsong Church, the famous Australian megachurch that fired celebrity pastor Carl Lentz because of "moral failures."
The "Anyone" singer clarified in a post on Instagram Stories that he is not a Hillsong member but a "part of Churchome," one of the influential Christian congregations in Hollywood. It is a nondenominational place of worship that practices remote fellowship. Its website names Judah and Chelsea Smith as its lead pastors. The former officiated the singer's wedding to Hailey Baldwin in 2019.
"Church is not a place. We are the church. We don't need a building to connect with God. God is with us wherever we are," Bieber explained in a subsequent post.
"The creators of the oceans and mountains also created you! You are a part of the plan, your life matters, he sees you! He's been patient with you as you ran from him awaiting your return! He's not mad, he understands," he added in capital letters.
Bieber also denied reports that he is studying to be a pastor in Hillsong Church. He shared a screenshot of an article from Page Six and wrote, "I'm not studying to be a minister or anything even close to that. Have no desire for that. This is fake news."
The Canadian hitmaker has a years-long history with Hillsong Church. He was seen attending their services in 2013 and 2015 throughout his "Purpose" and "Journals" eras. He even shared a photo with Lentz in 2013 along with the caption, "Love you bro."
The minister was the one who baptised Bieber in the bathtub of New York Knicks star Tyson Chandler's Manhattan home. At one point, the singer even moved in briefly with Lentz in 2014. But they reportedly had a falling out in 2018.
Bieber's denial that he is a part of Hillsong Church comes after news broke that the church fired Lentz in November 2020 for "leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures." The disgraced minister also owned up to his mistakes and admitted on social media that he cheated on his wife.