Justin Bieber has cancelled his Purpose Tour and sources are blaming his reportedly “intense” relationship with Hillsong Church lead pastor, Carl Lentz.
Here’s what we know about the Hillsong Church and Carl Lentz.
1. Lentz Is One of Twelve Hillsong Church Lead Pastors
Hillsong Church is described as a contemporary pentecostal church, and is an official member of the Australian Christian Churches. Carl is one of the church’s lead pastors, and pastors Hillsong New York, the local branch in Manhattan.
There are almost 1100 Hillsong churches and more than 250,000 “believers” across Australia, according to the church’s website. Hillsong Church believes in “one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving and completely holy.”
Click here to learn more about Hillsong’s beliefs and practices.
2. People Are Saying Bieber Has Cancelled His Tour Because of a ‘Spiritual Awakening’
According to TMZ, multiple sources are saying that Justin’s decision to cancel his Purpose Tour stems from his relationship to church pastor Carl Lentz. Sources describe Bieber’s friendship with Lentz as “intense”.
One source even told TMZ that the Biebs is “becoming the Tom Cruise of that church.”
But Justin isn’t the only celebrity Lentz has been caught hanging out with recently. He’s also made headlines for his role in the Kyrie Irving controversy. On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Irving requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers not only because he wants to join the team, but because of his conversations with Lentz.
3. He Is Married to Fellow Pastor Laura Lentz
In 2003, Carl married fellow Hillsong pastor, Laura Lentz.
Laura’s bio on the Hillsong website explains that she was born and raised in Australia, and lived there until graduating from Hillsong College, which is when she met Carl. The bio continues, “[Laura] is excited to be a part of Hillsong NYC and knows God has incredible things ahead for that city and nation.”
4. Carl Has Written Two Books
Lentz has written two books: The One: Experience Jesus, and Own The Moment.
According to his bio on Hillsong Church Watch, Carl moved to Australia to pursue his biblical training at Hillsong College. A portion of the profile reads:
Carl claims that Laura is the second greatest Aussie import of all time, only topped by Tim-Tam cookies. Both Carl and Laura embrace a simple, dedicated faith in Jesus and are passionate about delivering the gospel in a method that makes sense to a generation that is desperately seeking a cause that is greater than themselves.
5. He and His Wife Have 3 Children
Laura and Carl work at Hillsong Church in NYC, and have three children together.
Speaking to The Church Watch in 2013, Lentz spoke about his stance on Hillsong Church, saying, “There’s a stereotype… A lot of people think of Christians as out of touch. But I say the gospel shouldn’t make you weird. We’re not like those people standing outside the clubs with the posters and the bullhorns. God is bigger than that.”