The REAL Justin Bieber

It is rare that I would ever feature a "secular" singer, but I believe parents should know the truth about Justin Bieber.  The following feature article by David Buckna are questions and answers in Bieber's own words.   

“Basically, I don't even consider religion. Like, I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here, so I definitely have to remember that. As soon as I start forgetting, I’ve got to click back and be like, you know, this is why I’m here.”--Justin Bieber (November 1, 2010, Associated Press)

The Justin Bieber Bible Quiz
Q 1. Justin was asked in an interview: “What are the first songs you loved?” The first song he mentioned was…
1. “God Is Bigger Than the Boogie Man from VeggieTales. And when I was, like, 7 or 6, Boyz II Men's On Bended Knee. My mom used to play the album over and over. I would go to my bedroom and try to do the vocal acrobatics.” (

“God Is Bigger Than the Boogie Man” is heard in the very first VeggieTales episode, Where’s God When I’m S-Scared? It was released on video in December 1993 by Big Idea ( and later on DVD in February 2004. The episode features Junior Asparagus, who lies awake at night after watching a scary Frankencelery movie. Later, Junior's dad comes into his room and the two discuss how Junior needs to be more careful about what he watches.

The chorus: “God is bigger than the boogie man/He’s bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on TV/Oh, God is bigger than the boogie man/And He’s watching out for you and me.”
When movie reviewer Phil Boatwright asked Justin’s mother, “When did Justin make his decision of faith?”, she said: “He was really young, around five or six.... I told him it was his decision. He couldn’t make it because of Mommy. It has to be because of your own heart. And he kept telling me that he understood. And when he was eight or nine, he wanted to be baptized. So, I let him.”

Q 2. Where was Justin when he describes “harmonies hanging in the air like humidity”?
2. In church. “When I listened to music in church, I could feel those harmonies hanging in the air like humidity. It wasn’t an issue of learning it exactly: it was more as if the music soaked in through my skin. I don’t know how else to explain it.” (Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story, p. 56

Q 3. Justin told Seventeen magazine that his father (Jeremy Bieber) taught him to play some Bob Dylan songs on the guitar. Name one that Justin mentioned.
A 3. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”. Jesus: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
“It says in the Bible that you go to heaven as long as you have God in your heart and ask for forgiveness of your sins.” –Justin Bieber (Rolling Stone, issue 1125, March 3/11)

Q 4. What song on Justin’s first album (My World, 2009) is based on his parents’ break-up? 
4. “Down to Earth”. The song garnered critical acclaim as one of the best tracks on the album.
Justin: “It’s a huge fan favorite. So many people feel where I’m coming from. It doesn’t need any spectacular stage effects in the touring show; the best thing I can do is just sing it straight from my heart….Usher says some songs work best when there’s a sob in the singer’s voice. You gotta let that deep feeling come through. And that’s how I felt about this song. Sometimes the emotion of it is enough to bring tears to my eyes.” (Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story, p. 39)

“So we fight through the hurt/And we cry and cry and cry and cry/And we live and we learn/And we try and try and try and try/So it’s up to you and it’s up to me/That we meet in the middle/On our way back down to earth/Down to earth, down to earth/On our way back down to earth/Mommy you were always somewhere/And Daddy I live outta town/So tell me how could I ever be normal somehow/You tell me this is for the best/So tell me why am I in tears/So far away and now I just need you here”

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven…” (Colossians 1:19-20)

Q 5. What song did Justin perform for U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House for “Christmas in Washington”, broadcast December 20, 2009 on TNT?

Cover of Justin's book
5. “Someday at Christmas” (written by Stevie Wonder). “Someday at Christmas there’ll be no wars/When we have learned what Christmas is for/When we have found what life’s really worth/There’ll be peace on earth”

Q 6. In his 2010 autobiography, “Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story”, what Bible verse does Justin quote?
6. Romans 8:28. Justin writes: “On stage, we don’t want any surprises. We want everything to play out perfect, just the way we planned. In life, you get the full reveal. It’s all a surprise. And that makes it a lot more interesting, even though some of the surprises suck. 

In the Bible it says ‘everything works together for good’ if you love God, but there are times when it does not feel that way at all. Times when you’re like, ‘Yo, God! This is messed up. Could you pay some attention down here?’ Maybe faith is the ability to chill and trust that somebody up there got the set list right. Maybe when you’re cool with whatever comes your way, the reveal eventually happens, and even the bad moments can turn around to bless you.” (Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story, p. 93)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

7. What Hebrew prayer did Scott Samuel “Scooter” Braun (Justin’s manager) teach Justin and his team?
7. the Shema (the Jewish morning and evening prayer). See:

Justin: “My team gather in a tight huddle. Mom thanks God for all the blessings that have poured out on us. Mama Jan prays that my voice will be empowered with love. I pray for the safety of me and my dance crew and everyone above and below the stage. Dan leads us in ancient Hebrew prayer Scooter taught us. ‘Sh’ma Yis’ra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.’ (Hear, oh Israel, that the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.)” (Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever: My Story, pp. 236-237). After reciting the Shema syllable-perfect in an interview, Justin paused, then said: “Christianity was based off of Jesus being a Jew. I respect it.” (The Guardian, November 13, 2010).

Q 8. In June 2010, Justin hit out at a rumor that his music videos were sending out Illuminati messages. In what book does Jesus say: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”--Matthew, Mark, or John?
8. Matthew (5:11). On June 29/10, Justin answered several rumors on Twitter: “Im not dead. I had to check on this one…but it turns out Im alive…I have not joined the Illuminati or any other cult. Im a Christian and I pray before every show and am thankful for every blessing” In an interview, Justin said: “Hearing adults spread lies and rumors is part of the job.”
Justin: “When I wake up I thank him for my blessings. I thank him for putting me in this position. And at the end of the day I get out my Bible. At home-school my tutor is Christian, so we go over Bible verses. It's something that keeps me grounded.” (The Guardian, November 13, 2010)

Q 9. On November 21, 2010, what song did Justin perform with a gospel choir at the American Music Awards?
Q 9. “Pray”, from the album, “My Worlds Acoustic” (2011)
(  and (
Justin said on Twitter: “Wrote this song thinking of Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror and we are donating a portion of the proceeds from every album sold to CHILDREN’s MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS….I wrote ‘Pray’ thinking I wanted to help others and I feel like I have a responsibility to do so. What is the point of doing all this if you can’t make a difference in others’ lives?”

“Pray” begins: “Ohh, ohh, ohh…And I pray/I just can’t sleep tonight/Knowing that things ain’t right/It’s in the papers, it’s on the TV/It’s everywhere that I go/Children are crying. Soldiers are dying/Some people don’t have a home/But I know there’s sunshine behind that rain/I know there’s good times behind that pain/Hey, can you tell me how I can make a change/I close my eyes, I can see a brighter day/I close my eyes and pray”

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray…” (James 4:13)
Q 10. Who is Justin’s mother?
Justin with mother Pattie Mallette
A 10. Pattie Mallette. From: Vanity Fair (February 2011): “Several hours before Justin’s Atlantic City concert, Pattie Mallette talks at length about her own rough youth. She suffered sexual abuse as a child, was ‘wild’ as a teenager, had experiences with drugs and alcohol, and, at age 17, tried to commit suicide. It was while she was recovering in the hospital that, she says, she literally had a personal encounter with God and after that became a Christian. 

She is now convinced that she and Justin were put on earth to bring light and inspiration to the world. While she admits that it sounds ‘cheesy,’ she clearly believes it, and although she’s a petite woman who looks more like a Justin fan than like his mother, she’s fiercely protective of her son. She’s savvy about the world of show business and says, ‘We don’t have yes-men around him. I don’t want him being a diva.’ ” (p. 100)

From ( “While searching for videos of a different singer, Scooter Braun, a former marketing executive of So So Def, clicked on one of Bieber's 2007 videos by accident. Impressed, Braun tracked down the theater Bieber was performing in, located Bieber's school, and finally contacted Mallette. Mallette was reluctant because of Braun’s Jewish heritage; she remembered praying, ‘God, I gave him to you. You could send me a Christian man, a Christian label! … you don’t want this Jewish kid to be Justin’s man, do you?’ However, after praying with her church elders and receiving their encouragement, she permitted Braun to fly Bieber, then 13, to Atlanta, Georgia, to record demo tapes. A week after arriving, Bieber sang for R&B singer/songwriter Usher. Bieber was soon signed to Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and Usher.”

Pattie and Allied Faith & Family have collaborated to create a 12-page discussion guide for youth groups titled, “Never Say Never: For Nothing Is Impossible With God”. In the guide, Pattie writes: “I’m sure you can imagine the extraordinary ride we’ve been on the last couple of years. One minute I’m a single mother working two jobs and living on ‘geared to income housing’ and the next I’m traveling the globe parenting a mega pop star. I believe God has a plan for each of our lives and that it is a good plan (Jeremiah 29:11). As a woman of faith and a praying mom, I would pray often about God’s plan for Justin’s life and mine, having no idea at the time just how BIG His plans were. Truly, nothing is impossible with God. He called us to be a light in this world and has provided more than what we needed. Justin has all the normal challenges of any other 16 year-old Christian youth, with the same struggles and temptations. When you add fame and influence and all the unseen pressures of his industry, the challenges increase significantly. He needs a strong faith-based community now more than ever to encourage him on as a light and to hold him up in prayer!”

“The power of prayer is effective (James 5:16) and we depend on it. Prayer has been an important part of Justin’s life since childhood. I have a large and growing intercession group that is praying for Justin as he proceeds on his world tour and gets ready for his movie debut. The film’s title is fitting because Justin never gives up on his dreams. He keeps on dreaming despite the many obstacles and challenges he’s faced in his young life. With all that’s happened in these last couple of whirlwind years, the phrase will always have special meaning for us. Never say never, for nothing is impossible with God!”

It is obvious that Justin is a special young man and I agree with his mother.  I believe God gave him the talent and platform for a time such as this.  Please pray that his faith would continue to be strong.  And pray that he would overcome temptation that comes from the pressures in entertainment industry.  

Justin holds the NHL’s Stanley Cup
Justin was born in London, Ontario and raised in Stratford, Ontario. “I am a proud Canadian and I hope that comes through in everything I do. I love hockey, maple syrup and Caramilk bars.” (Canada’s national anthem, O Canada, contains the prayer: “God keep our land glorious and free.”)
Justin’s first album, My World (2009) was certified platinum within three months of its release; the first debut album ever to have seven songs chart on the Billboard Top 100.
Justin’s first single (“One Time”) made it to the Top 30 in over 10 countries.
Justin’s 2010 album (My World 2.0) debuted at #1 on the charts; this debut made Justin the youngest male solo artist to top the Billboard chart since Stevie Wonder in 1963.
The lead single (“Baby”) became a Top 10 hit worldwide after its release in January 2010.
A “Belieber” is a very dedicated fan of Justin Bieber. It’s also a play-on-words: belieber sounds like believer and rhymes with lieber (“dear” in German).
Sold more than 4 million albums worldwide.
Plays drums, guitar, piano, and trumpet.
Has almost 8 million followers on Twitter.
Can solve a Rubik’s Cube in one minute and 23 seconds.
Tickets for Justin’s 2010 concert at Madison Square Garden sold out in 22 minutes.
Nominated for two 2011 Grammy Awards: Best New Artist, and Best Pop Vocal Album (My World 2.0)
Won the 2011 Brit Award for Best International Breakthrough Artist (February 15/11)
Nominated for 4 Juno Awards: Juno Fan Choice award, Artist of the Year, Album of the Year/Pop Album of the Year (My World 2.0)(
In Rolling Stone (issue 1125, March 3/11) Vanessa Grigoriadis reports: “He’s definitely against abortion, too. ‘I really don’t believe in abortion,’ he says. ‘I think [an embryo] is a human. It’s like killing a baby.’ Even in the case of rape? ‘Um,’ he says. ‘Well, I think that’s just really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason.’ He looks confused. ‘I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.’ ” To view Justin’s comments in the Rolling Stone article, go to: (
Justin plays troubled teen on 2 episodes of CSI
Francis Crick and James Watson are the co-discoverers of the thread-like DNA molecule. Yet thousands of years ago the psalmist wrote: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb…your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13;16). The phrase “you knit me together” anticipates that we are literally “knitted” or “woven” together at the molecular level.
Acted in two episodes of the CBS television series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, playing troubled teen Jason McCann (Sept. 23/10; Feb.17/11).
Celebrates his 17th birthday on March 1, 2011.

Freelancer David Buckna produces -- THE POP GOSPEL -- a column that communicates Judeo-Christian truth to the postmodern culture using a Q & A format. Questions are gleaned from movies, television, music, literature, current events and other aspects of pop culture. Buckna's previous quizzes for ANS can be found at the ANS Search Archive page, searching for Buckna. Copyright 2011 by David Buckna. THE POP GOSPEL. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Buckna reads email

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  1. Terrific article - I had no idea that JB was a) Canadian and b) well grounded.


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