Justin Bieber Denies Studying to Be a Pastor for Hillsong After Carl Lentz Drama: 'No Desire for That'
"This is fake news," the singer on his Instagram Stories
Justin Bieber is clarifying some misconceptions about his faith.
On Monday, the "Anyone" singer — who has been open about his Christianity — took to his Instagram Stories to say that he is a member of Churchome, not Hillsong Church, weeks after prominent pastor Carl Lentz was removed from his post at Hillsong in November.
Sharing a New York Post's Page Six article claiming that he's "reportedly studying to be a minister" for Hillsong, the 26-year-old denied the report, writing in all caps, "I'm not studying to be a minister or anything even close to that. Have no desire for that. This is fake news."
The singer then added in a second Story, "And btw Hillsong is not my church... For clarity I am a part of Churchome."
In a third Instagram Story slide, the singer explained that "Church is not a place. We are the church."
"We don't need a building to connect with God," he wrote, before posting a faith-filled message on his Instagram feed. "God is with us wherever we are."
Bieber has been open about attending the nondenominational church, formerly known as City Church and led by pastors Judah and Chelsea Smith. The congregation has previously drawn the attention of celebrities such as Ciara, Kourtney Kardashian and Selena Gomez, according to Marie Claire.
In 2015, Judah Smith spoke to PEOPLE about Bieber's faith and connection to Churchome.
"I think Justin really had it in his heart to make this continual progression in his journey and development," he told PEOPLE then, before adding, "It's astounding to consider that at such a young age he's experienced extraordinary fame, and yet here he is at 21 years old making some amazing decisions and really developing. I'm proud of who Justin is and the incredible journey he's on."
Bieber's church clarification comes just several months after Lentz — who baptized Bieber years ago and was once his spiritual confidant — was terminated from his role at Hillsong for "moral failings." (TMZ reported they had a falling out in 2018.)
"I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that," Lentz revealed in November. "This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions."