- (Photo: Reuters / Mario Anzuoni)
Justin Bieber has quite openly declared himself a Christian to the world numerous times. "I'm a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins,” Bieber said in an interview last year. “I believe that I have a relationship and I'm able to talk to him and really, he's the reason I'm here.”
The 17-year old is also noted for thanking, not just “God,” but “Jesus Christ” during his acceptance speeches for awards. And if you have a daughter under the age of 15, you have definitely sat through the famous YouTube video of the star saying grace before a meal with friends.
Of course, more than what you claim with your lips, it is your lifestyle that really confirms your faith to others. Bieber’s new album, “Under the Mistletoe,” has received mixed reviews from critics, but girls everywhere have definitely gotten into the Christmas spirit. The album features duets from stars like Mariah Carey, Boys II Men, Busta Rhymes and more. Proceeds from the album are expected to be donated to Bieber’s “Believe” charity organization that supports “Make-A-Wish” and “Teenage Cancer Trust.”
The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts.
All of this sounds good and well, however, some Christians find themselves conflicted with some of the lyrics altered in the renewing of the traditional songs. The song, “Mistletoe,” for starters, is questionable in itself. He speaks of family values and quality time while also speaking about the love for his “shawty.” He sings:
Eh, love, the wise men followed the star
The way I followed my heart
And it led me to a miracle
Eh love, don't you buy me nothing
I am feeling one thing, your lips on my lips
That's a very, merry Christmas
Granted, Bieber himself did not write the song. However, drawing comparisons to finding his young partner against the incarnation of Jesus and the wise men is not a favorable metaphor.
A similar critique can be made of “Drummer Boy,” another track on the album featuring Busta Rhymes. The young singer and the rapper revamp the classic tune with an electric beat and rap lyrics. Some critics have suggested that the mixture of modern music ruins and corrupts the simple song and its meaning. Bieber reveals his Christian beliefs when he says:
Playin for the king, playin for the title,
I'm surprised you didn't hear this in the Bible.
Nevertheless, he follows up with a line about Michael Jackson, directly following:
I'm so tight, I might go psycho.
Christmas time so here's a recital.
I'm so bad like Michael, I know
I'm still young but I go I go.
The “Drummer Boy” lyrics go on to speak about Twitter, clothing, BlackBerry cell phones and other seemingly unrelated talk. Some may be disappointed at Bieber’s added references that do not support the original heart of the tunes.
Bieber does redeem himself slightly, however, in the same song by the end:
It's crazy how some people say, say they don't care,
When there's people on the street with no food; it's not fair.
It's about time for you to act merrily;
It's about time for you to give to charity.
Rarely do people even wanna help at all,
'Cause they warm by the fire, getting toys and their dolls.
Not thinking there's a family out hungry and cold,
Wishin' wishin' that they had somebody they could hold.
So I think some of you need to act bold;
Give a can to a drive, let's change the globe.
For a young kid with such popularity, it is hard for Christians to condemn the star working in such a secularized industry. However, many this Christmas will be hoping that Bieber can continue to reveal his faith without the extra mundane elements that may detract from the original and more important points.
Either way, most would agree that Bieber’s catchy and playful tunes could spark an interest about the deeper message of Jesus Christ in the heart of young girls and boys this Christmas.