Just weeks after his good friend and pastor, Carl Lentz, was fired from Hillsong Church, Justin Bieber has announced that he is no longer a part of it. Yep, while addressing rumors that he’s studying to become a minister, the singer shocked the entire world when he said that he had parted ways with the church.
“Im not studying to be a minister or anything even close to that,” he wrote on his Instagram Stories. “Have no desire for that this is fake news. And BTW, Hillsong is not my church. For clarity I am a part of Churchome. Church is not a place. We are the church. We don’t need a building to connect with God. God is with us wherever we are.”
What Is Churchome?
According to reports, Churchome is led by Biebers’s close friend Judah Smith and his wife, Chelsea. Its website reads, “Our name, ‘Churchome,’ reflects our belief that we are going to be a church that functions like a home, that looks like a home, and that loves like a home. And ultimately, what we experience on earth will look a lot like heaven.”
What Is Hillsong Church?
Hillsong Church was founded by Houston in 1983 in Sydney, Australia. It now has churches in 28 countries around the world and, according to its website, before the coronavirus pandemic, it had an average of 150,000 attendees each week. Besides Bieber, numerous celebrities have been spotted attending Hillsong services over the years, including his wife, Hailey Baldwin, Kourtney Kardashian, Chris Pratt, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Vanessa Hudgens, Austin Butler, Nick Jonas, Hailee Steinfeld and more.
Why Was Carl Lentz Fired?
According to an alleged email sent out by Hillsong Church founder, Brian Houston, Lentz was fired for “moral failures and breaches of trust.”
“I am very sad to inform you that Hillsong Church has terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz. I know this will come as a shock to you, but please know that this action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl,” Houston wrote in the alleged email to to church staff and members. “This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.”
The message continued, “Please understand that it would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision. However you can be assured that this decision was made in order to honor God and pastorally care for you, our East Coast family, Pastor Carl and his family.”
A few days later, Lentz spoke out about it on Instagram, and he said that the reason he was let go was because he had cheated on his wife.
“Our time at Hillsong has come to an end. This is a hard ending to what has been the most amazing, impacting and special chapter of our lives. Leading this church has been an honor in every sense of the word and it is impossible to articulate how much we have loved and will always love the amazing people in this church. When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honors the mandate. That it honors the church, and that it honors God. When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld,” he wrote. “Laura [Lentz] and I and our amazing children have given all that we have to serve and build this church and over the years I did not do an adequate job of protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available. When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences. I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
He added, “I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura, and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need. I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process … To those people, I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again … We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God.”
Who Exactly Is Carl Lentz?
According to reports, Lentz, 41, grew up in Virginia, and later moved to Australia to join Hillsong’s training program. Then, in 2010, he and Houston’s son, Joel, opened Hillsong’s first United States location in New York City. He and his wife, Laura, share three kids together.
He was also credited with helping Bieber become clean from drugs and alcohol.
“I found myself doing things that I was so ashamed of, being super-promiscuous and stuff, and I think I used Xanax because I was so ashamed… Drugs put a screen between me and what I was doing. It got pretty dark,” the “Love Yourself” crooner told Vogue in February 2019. “I think there were times when my security was coming in late at night to check my pulse and see if I was still breathing.”
According to the outlet, after hitting a low point, Lentz convinced the pop star to “move into his home in New Jersey for an informal detox.” They reported that “Bieber interned for Lentz at Hillsong and refocused on his religious faith.”
Over the years, Bieber and Lentz have shared numerous photos together online and have been spotted hanging out a lot, but some fans have pointed out on Twitter that the last time they were seen together was over the summer, so it’s unclear where their relationship stands now.
What Else Is Justin Bieber Up To These Days?
As fans know, Bieber just released an album, called Changes, in February 2020. But get this — he’s already working on his next LP! He told his fans during an Instagram Live, “I’m going to make another [album] while I’m in quarantine. There’s nothing else to do. I will.” Plus, in July 2020, his manager, Scooter Braun, teased his upcoming tunes on Twitter.
“Maybe a new album @JustinBieber?” he wrote.
And according to the singer’s friend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he and Baldwin are going to have a baby in 2021. For those who missed it, the model became an aunt when he sister, Alaia Baldwin, welcomed her first child with her husband, Andrew Aronow, back in August 2020. And when Bieber posted a snap of himself holding the new baby, the actor left a pretty interesting comment.
“This pretty much seals the deal. Fully expect you and H to have a baby in 2021,” he wrote.
Yes, please! It turns out, Bieber was actually supposed to embark on a world tour in 2020, but unfortunately, it got delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. And according to the musician, he wants to have a baby as soon as it’s over.
“I’m gonna freaking crush this tour. You and me, traveling the world,” he said to Baldwin during an Instagram Live in January 2020. “Then, after the tour we have a baby.”