EDIT 26/02/2015: Since Hillsong leadership have quickly responded to this publication from SundayWorld, we offer our readers what Hillsong leaders have said in relation to the story below.
It appears that Carl Lentz has responded to the below article published by Sunday World through Saiko Woods.
“Saiko Woods contacted Carl earlier today and he said it wasn’t true at all.”
Source: FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/piratechristian/posts/10205689062133080?comment_id=10205689123254608&offset=0&total_comments=34, Published 25/02/2015, 17:08. (Accessed 25/02/2015.)
Saiko Woods also stated,
“Carl Lentz said the report isn’t true. Justin isn’t performing at his church at all.”
Source: Saiko Woods, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/saiko.woods/posts/10203322676500098?comment_id=10203322693980535&offset=0&total_comments=24, Published 25/02/2015, 08:16. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
Source: Saiko Woods, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/saiko.woods/posts/10203322676500098?comment_id=10203322694540549&offset=0&total_comments=24, Published 25/02/2015, 08:16. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
Chris Rosebrough reported Lyall Mercer offered a statement made by Brian Houston,
Lyall Mercer who is a PR agent for Hillsong says that Brian Houston has issued a statement saying “Not true that Justin Bieber has qualified to be lay preacher or plans by Hillsong to rush him onto our platform.”
Source: Chris Rosebrough, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/piratechristian/posts/10205689062133080, Published 25/02/2015, 16:42. (Accessed 25/02/2015.)
LYALL MERCER (Hillsong’s PR)
Chris Rosebrough published the original article on Beiber from SundayWorld on twitter. Lyall Mercer replied,
@piratechristian No truth to this. Dangerous to believe Hollywood gossip stories.
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570454929812299778, 9:27 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
@LyallMercer Are you speaking as an official representative of Hillsong?
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570454929812299778, 9:31 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
What was Mercer’s response?
@piratechristian on behalf of the church, yes.
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570469488476475392, 10:24 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
On Twitter, Lyall Mercer writes,
@sundayworld abt Justin Bieber “performing” at Hillsong LA not correct. Also not true that he is lay preacher. Totally fabricated
Source: Lyall Mercer, Twitter, https://twitter.com/LyallMercer/status/570453837896511488, 9:27 PM – 24 Feb 2015. (Accessed 26/02/2015.)
What are your thoughts? Who is right? Does anyone have additional information on this story? The SundayWorld reports,
Justin ‘Believer’ Bieber to perform… from the pulpit
Justin Bieber is planning a series of new performances… delivering sermons from the pulpit of his favourite church.
The pop brat claims to have turned over a new leaf after qualifying as a lay preacher following an intensive, three-month bible study course.
And he even wants to bring TV cameras into L.A.’s trendy Hillsong Church so he can preach to the masses and spread the good word as a part-time televangelist.
Bieber, who turns 21 next Sunday, has helped Hillsong become the first church in history to be signed by top Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor.
The agency, whose megastar clients include Robert De Niro, Ben Affleck, John Travolta, Taylor Swift and Kanye West, is already reportedly negotiating a prime time small screen slot on Sundays with two networks. And, to help boost ratings, The Bieb has offered to help staff clergy by reading sermons and even appealing for donations on camera.
Hillsong is a Pentecostal church that was founded in Australia in 1983 by married pastors Brian and Bobby Houston and quickly achieved popularity through its pop-style worship music, selling more than 12 million Christian records worldwide.
It now draws 100,000 attendees to services in 11 countries every week, including at the Belasco Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, where keen devotee Bieber has brought several fellow celebrities.
These include his former girlfriend, 22-year-old singer Selena Gomez, High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens (26) and Glee star Lea Michelle (28), who has raved about Hillsong’s “amazing vibe”.
Bieber claims the church has “transformed” his life after two years of bad boy behaviour around the world that landed him in several legal scrapes and even punch-ups with rival stars like Orlando Bloom.
He said: “I’ve done a few things that might not have been the greatest. But I’m ready to own up to them.”
Source: By Mike Parker, Justin ‘Believer’ Bieber to perform… from the pulpit, http://www.sundayworld.com/news/justin-believer-bieber-to-perform-from-the-pulpit-hillsong, Accessed 25/02/2015.
Once again, we ask the question. Has Hillsong made any attempt to get Sunday World to retract their story?
Hillsong should be ashamed cashing in on his popularity. What Justine needs to do is sit and be taught in a true Bible believing, God fearing gathering of saints so as to grow and learn. Not be thrown in the pulpit immediately.
Can any words really adequately express how disgusting and self-serving an exercise this is on behalf of Hillsong? If Christians cannot see through this then there is absoutley no hope for any of them! Totally sickening!
So why did Jesus die on the cross? Was it to transform the lost or to just make good, acceptable people look better? Back in the 80s a star named BJ Thomas had a similar experience. Major transformation. However, many many ‘holier than thou’ “Christians” (hate to even call them that) criticized, condemned and….well, eventually ran him right out of what should have been an embracing fellowship of transformed believers. Why do we have such a hard time accepting the transforming power of Jesus? Are we really that shallow as seasoned believers? There was A man named Saul who was a lot worse than Justin B. Folks had a hard time accepting his transformation at first. But some sensible believers came together and said, “Wait a minute, this is what we teach and believe. Jesus transformed us. Is God limited to only changing people who haven’t sinned ‘too greatly’?” The answer is NO, people! Paul went on to writer at of the New Testament under the direction of the Holy Spirit of God Himself. Why not embrace and encourage JB and see what God can do?
h2hdave – did you see anything particularly negative about Justin Bieber in the Sunday World article? Comes across as quite positive ‘reporting’ for a change. Would love to know where Sunday World sourced their story.
churchwatcher, my response was more of a response to other responders who seemed to be disgusted that a church would even consider allowing J.B. to be treated as a person who was serious about being regenerated and acting like he wants to be a true part of the body of Christ. I was not responding because I thought the reporting itself was tainted. – h2hdave
Thanks h2hdave – and if Justin has been truly regenerated, it would be a good thing for him to find a church that takes him aside and nurtures him privately. A church that’s faithful to the gospel, not a movement that continues to endorse false teachers (T.D. Jakes among others). Bieber has been doing the rounds lately apologising for his past behaviour, is that evidence of new found faith? Who knows? But sadly we often see the rise and fall of famous false converts in these movements.
My comments were made in the light of the phrase “delivering sermons from the pulpit”. There is not even a debate about the saving grace of our Lord for EVERY person. However, there is a huge distance to be travelled from experiencing and accepting that saving grace to “preaching from the pulpit”! That to me is just a church cashing in on the notoriety of Bieber in this case – and they DO have a habit of trying to cash in on “famous” names! Bieber’s testimony would no doubt be very powerful if he has invited Jesus into his life…………….. but “preaching”?…. You can’t seriously defend such an idea. A three month Bible course and suddenly you are qualified to “preach” (i.e. “teach”). No thank you……. there is far too much of this going on in churches today. I feel the Bible warns us very clearly about such things and gives valuable lessons about maturity.
sp we believe the press over Hillsong. The pastors act with integrity.
Can the same be said about them who generally anti Christian.