What Is Hillsong Church, and Is It the Reason Justin Bieber Canceled His Tour?
Wednesday - 26/07/2017 12:02
On July 24, the pop star canceled the remaining of his Purpose World Tour
Sorry, Beliebers, there’s a new “song” in Justin Bieber’s life. It’s Hillsong Church, and it may be leading him away from his music career.
On July 24, the pop star canceled the remaining of his Purpose World Tour — axing two months and more than two dozen stops from his itinerary — citing “careful consideration” and “unforeseen circumstances.”
Now, however, rumor has it that his involvement with Hillsong Church swayed him to pull the cord on the tour.
TMZ reports the Biebs canceled the tour dates after a “spiritual awakening” with the Australia-based Pentecostal megachurch and its pastor Carl Lentz — whom ABC once described as a “hipster heartthrob.”
Carl urged Justin to keep his concert dates on the calendar, apparently, but Justin’s “intense” relationship and “endless conversations” with him inspired him to take a timeout, TMZ claims.
“The church didn’t tell Justin to cancel the tour,” one source tells the site. “He made his decision based on spiritual soul-searching and his own view of the path in life he should be taking.”
(That said, when a paparazzo asked Justin if he canceled the tour for religious reasons, he said no.)
Justin’s involvement with the church dates back at least six years, GQ reports.
In 2014, Justin even lived with Carl in New Jersey for a month and a half to work through some personal issues.
And earlier this month, the 23-year-old joined the pastor at the Hillsong Conference.
“He’s becoming the Tom Cruise of that church,” a TMZ source says.
So what’s so alluring about this Hillsong Church, anyway?
GQ’s Taffy Brodesser-Akner endeavored to find out in 2015, embedding herself into “a megachurch so reputedly, mystifyingly cool that cable-news outlets cover its services like they’re Kardashian birthday bashes at 1OAK.”
A post shared by Carl Lentz (@carllentz) on Mar 1, 2017 at 6:41pm PST
But the real celebrities within the church seem to be the Hillsong musicians, who perform for the masses every Sunday.
“Tonally and tunefully, it’s a Jonas Brothers song,” Taffy says of the average Hillsong ballad.
“Lyrically, it’s a hymn, and yet the singing is hot-breathed and sexy-close into microphones. It made my body feel confused.”
By reputation, Hillsong tries to blend Christianity with cool, and Tanny notes that the crowd that shows up at services is young and fashion-forward.
There’s one exception. Everyone wears the same quasi-fedora hat — a shape Taffy’s milliner friend describes as “nothing” — modeled after the one always worn by Pastor Joel Houston, the son of Hillsong’s founder.
A post shared by Joel Houston (@joelhouston) on Sep 1, 2014 at 11:39pm PDT
arl himself seems very fashion-conscious. In a backstage video from this month’s Hillsong Conference, he’s wearing a Louis Vuitton hoodie.
When Taffy talked with him, he was dressed in “head to toe Saint Laurent.”
In paparazzi photos taken yesterday (July 25) and published on TMZ, he wears a white t-shirt, athletic shorts, and athletic socks. He’s talking to Justin, who’s wearing… a white t-shirt, athletic shorts, and athletic socks.
Around 2010 or 2011, a fellow pastor called Carl about Justin, who was in existential distress at the time.
They met, and Justin got on his knees and cried.
“I want to know Jesus,” Justin said. “Baptize me.”
Hounded by paparazzi, Carl and Justin couldn’t find privacy for the baptism, until finally they arrived at the Manhattan home of New York Knicks star Tyson Chandler, a friend of Carl’s.
Tyson’s building had a pool, but it was closed for the night, so Carl baptized the pop star in Tyson’s oversized bathtub.
“This boy is 21,” Carl told Taffy in that 2015 interview.
“He’s in a horribly toxic world. He is trying to do his best to figure this out.
“He has never been anybody but who he has professed to be, which is a work in progress.”