Justin Bieber: “tween evangelist” — or just a good influence among many bad ones?

Justin Bieber: Tween Evangelist?

Bieber has never shied away from faith.  He was singing Christian songs on YouTube before he became famous.  His born-again Christian mother Pattie Mallette has shared her spiritual conversion on a Christian TV show and openly shares her beliefs and Bible verses with 281,000-plus Twitter followers.

Bieber’s come-from-nowhere climb to become the fourth top-selling artist of 2010 has given a higher profile to his Christian beliefs and background, which he also addressed in last fall’s autobiography, “First Step 2 Forever: My Story.”

“I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins,” Bieber told Billboard last November.  “He’s the reason that I’m here.”

On his November single “Pray,” a departure from his typical pop oeuvre, Bieber sings, “I close my eyes and pray / I close my eyes and I can see a better day.”  The music video, seen more than 21 million times on YouTube, ends with the written message, “God speaks in the silence of the heart.  Listening is the beginning of prayer.”

In the new 3-D film, fans will see Bieber expressing his faith — several scenes show Bieber praying before concerts, and Mallette discusses how God brought stability to her life as a single teenage mother.

More power to young Justin’s elbow.  God knows, teens have few other good influences in popular culture these days.  They do have many, many bad ones.

More on Justin Bieber:

Quote of the day: some Canadian kid called Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber: a lot better example than Lady Gaga, Britney, pothead George Michael and the rest

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