(Photo: Reuters/Phil Noble)
Mega-pop star Justin Bieber, who has been vocal about his Christian faith and has admitted to some of his weaknesses, said while he is talented, he is what he is because a forgiving God had a purpose for him to help others.
"I think that's part of the reason I'm here," the 19-year-old Canadian pop star said when asked about God's role in his life, during an interview with Teen Vogue.
"Not just because I'm talented, but because God had a purpose for me to just help people," he said in the interview that will appear in the magazine's May issue. "I'm spiritual... although I slept in [and missed] church yesterday. I haven't been to church in so long, and I planned on going, and I slept in. I was upset. It's all good. God forgives me," The Hollywood Gossip, which has published excerpts of the interview, quoted him as saying.
The Ontario native was raised in a conservative evangelical environment and reportedly got saved and baptized quite young.
Bieber wound up in the spotlight recently when TMZ.com published photos of him at a social gathering holding what looks like a marijuana cigarette and apparently blowing smoke. Criticism ensued, with some doubting the TMZ report while others wondered if such behavior was normal for the Canadian crooner.
While avoiding specific statements on the controversy, Bieber seemed to have acknowledged the TMZ report, eventually tweeting, "I see all of (you). I hear all of (you). I never want to let any of you down. I love (you). And..thank (you)."
Teen Vogue asked Bieber why he does not respond to every rumor. "I know who I am, and I'm very much in control," he replied. "I don't need to address every speculation. Remember when Cam'ron dissed Jay-Z? Jay-Z didn't even respond. Why didn't he respond? He didn't need to respond because he's Jay-Z."
Asked what's important to him, Bieber said, "I don't need a bunch of friends to make me happy. I just need the people close to me that I love, that's all." He also said, "I just don't trust anybody. Literally, my phone never rings. I only have, like, four people that I keep in contact with."
On his Twitter philosophy, Bieber said, "My Twitter is really nice. I have so many fans that I rarely ever see a nasty tweet... I see so much stuff on the Internet, sometimes I just want to go to Twitter and just go after people. But then I think twice: If someone is dissing me, I'm going to make this person way more famous by tweeting them."
Judah Smith, a friend of Bieber and pastor of The City Church in Seattle, Wash., was asked by Fox News in February how he counsels a celebrity like Bieber, who "has every earthly temptation" thrown at him, including girls and drugs. "Where do you begin with a celebrity like this?" asked host Alisyn Camerota.
"I tend to think certainly Justin has a lot of opportunity and temptation, but frankly I think in the 21st century, we probably all do. I would encourage him like I would encourage most of our church in Seattle in terms of being like Jesus and asking the all-important question – what would Jesus do? Justin makes fantastic decisions in his life," said Smith. "I do my best to encourage him, and he's a spectacular young man."
Bieber has expressed on numerous occasions his faith in Jesus Christ. "I am spiritual. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I believe that he put me in this position, and that I have to always give him the glory he deserves for putting me here," Bieber said in a 2012 interview. "But I don't consider myself religious."