According to Wikipedia, Bieber was born on March 1, 1994, in London Ontario and was raised in Stratford, Ontario. Justin’s mother, Patricia Lynn “Pattie” Mallette was only 18 years old when she became pregnant and with the help of her parents, she raised Justin as a single mom. During his childhood, Bieber was interested in hockey, soccer, and chess; he often kept his musical aspirations to himself, but as he grew up Bieber taught himself to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. In early 2007, when he was twelve, Bieber sang for a local singing competition in Stratford and placed second. As any proud mom would have done, Pattie Mallette posted a video of the performance on YouTube for their family and friends to see and she continued to upload videos of Bieber singing covers of various R&B songs, and Bieber’s popularity on the site grew. Quite by accident one day Scooter Braun came across one of Justin’s videos on YouTube and from there Justin was introduced to Usher (Grammy Award winning superstar), and the rest so they say is history. Literally overnight, Justin Bieber became an instant pop sensation.
Now, I’m a mom of a teenaged girl, and I am a youth leader so I try to make sure I’m at least aware of what’s going on in today’s “pop culture” since I know so well that pop culture definitely has influence over today’s youth. If you don’t believe me, turn on any television program, listen to any radio station,…better yet…just ask your kids! Everyday our kids are colliding head on with the world when it comes to pop culture. To plug my friends, Mike and Daniel Blackaby’s book: When Worlds Collide – Stepping Up and Standing Out in an Anti-God Culture, they have written a great book on how youth may “embrace” pop culture, while at the same time staying true to their Christian faith.
Having watched these two young men grow up in our church, (I heard them each preach their first sermon), to now seeing how God is using them both in ministry, I can testify to their Godly character! Their book is a must-read for today’s youth, college and career, and parent. Mike and Dan have stood true to their Christian heritage and to their beliefs while still running around in Star Wars and Harry Potter paraphernalia 🙂
But what has that got to do with Justin Bieber you ask? Well, for one thing, Justin has declared that he is a Christian. According to Rolling Stone magazine (online), Bieber says he is a Christian, that he has a relationship with Jesus, that he talks to Him and that “He’s the reason I’m here.”
That’s all well and good to declare that to the world, but I seem to recall a bunch of pop stars (past and present) who have claimed to be Christians; they say – “God Bless” – at the end of each show (or even when they’re accepting Grammy awards), and then their actions later in their career (or even later on that evening) show them for what they really are…liars.
As Mike and Dan write in their book: “Surely nothing galls (or delights) the world more than Christians who act holy on Sunday but live the rest of the week the same way everyone else does. It’s something to think about when we are tempted to “blend in so we can witness.” Should we wonder when the world concludes: “If their faith is so important, why do they try so hard to act just like us?”
Recently I watched with great interest an interview on 100 Huntley Street with Justin’s Mom, Pattie, (the interview took place four years ago, when Justin’s star was on the rise) and if you are interested in hearing a bit of her testimony and story, I encourage you to click on the link to see it in it’s entirety. It is obvious if you listen to the interview that Pattie tried to raise Justin in a Godly home. As a single mom she definitely had her struggles, but here is a mom who seems to have laid a good spiritual foundation for Justin.
Justin turns eighteen today and like all youth who turn that “magical” number, here in Canada it means that you can now officially vote in elections and in most provinces in Canada you are officially legal to drink alcohol. It’s that “coming of age” birthday that parents dread and teens look forward to. I say that because, once again, parents, we bury our heads in the sand if we don’t think our teens…yes…our Christian teens…are not thinking about the “par-tay” that they will eventually have with their friends when their parents are not around. We pray protection for them everyday, but we should be praying protection especially for them on their 18th birthday when they will most definitely be in a “colliding” mode with the world on that day.
I have seen several teen idols fall hard and fast from grace with their fans, and from God on their 18th birthday. I pray that does not happen to Justin today. So today, I am praying for Justin. I pray he makes wise choices today, that God would draw near to him and that the enemy would not have a stronghold in the young man’s life.
Happy Birthday, Justin. Make your fans and Canada proud!