After making headlines following his New Year's Eve performance, Justin Bieber is back in the news over several alleged claims. It was rumored that the young pop star has been training to become a pastor; however, according to Bieber, that's not true. After a Page Six article was published, claiming he would be taking over as the Hillsong pastor after former celebrity pastor Carl Lentz was forced to step down following adultery claims, Bieber took to his Instagram stories to set the record straight.
Bieber shared the article via his Instagram stories and clearly stated that it was "fake news." "I'm not studying to be a minister or anything even close to that. Have no desire for that this is fake news," he captioned the post. On the following slide, Bieber clarified that he's not apart of that church family, instead of a different one. "And btw Hillsong is not my church... for clarity, I am part of churchome," he said. Following that, he went on to say that it's not about going to a place of worship per se, but more about his relationship with God. He then went on to tell his fans that they are important and loved.
In November, it was announced by Hillsong Church staff that Lentz stepped down after claims were stated that he engaged in an extramarital relationship with a Brooklyn-based fashion designer, according to the New York Post. However, that's not the only headline the church has made. Their Manhattan campus is under investigation by church officials after potential evidence surfaced showing embezzlement by other local leaders, and a former Hillsong "service pastor" in Los Angeles told the outlet that the church had become a "cult" and allegedly demanded, "slave labor" of its members.
Bieber is known for his undoubted faith in God and does not shy away from telling the world. In 2020, Bieber discussed his struggles publicly, after suffering in silence for most of his career. He revealed that he's battled with Lyme Disease, which is why he canceled his tour in 2017, and many other issues.
Once he dropped his Changes album, Bieber was ready to go back on tour after two-and-a-half solid years off the road. However, as a result of the pandemic, he was forced to cancel that tour, leaving fans frustrated and sad. However, he did perform on New Year's Eve as he kissed 2020 goodbye with his fans, making that his first concert since 2017. Bieber performed at The Beverly Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. While he was surrounded by a few fans who joined him from their balconies — including his wife Hailey Bieber — he had millions around the world tune in virtually.
In fact, his virtual audience broke records. When fans tried to sign in to join ahead of Bieber taking the stage, several were having issues due to the website, VenewLive, being overloaded with users. This caused a big delay in the concert's start time, and several thought it may be canceled altogether because no one could seemingly sign in. According to Bieber's manager Scooter Braun, the website's delay was due to fans' overhaul. "'The start time to Justin's performance was delayed to accommodate the unprecedented demand,'" he captioned a quote on an Instagram post. "'The extraordinary number of last-minute tickets that were issued and sold were at an overall volume and rate that far exceeded any pay-per-view concert we have ever seen.'"