What I Learned from Justin Bieber's Mom

Prayers for pop stars? Pattie Mallette challenges the church's response to celebrity culture.

Pattie Mallette's life as a mom doesn't resemble most mothers'. For years she's been circling the globe with her superstar son, Justin Bieber, raising him as he sings to sold-out crowds. She's helped him go from a young YouTube phenom to a full-blown celebrity before age 18. Known as a sweet, soft-spoken mom, there's not much that gets Mallette riled up. Except this: celebrity-bashing Christians.

"I would love to see the church encourage, pray for, and bless, rather than kick someone when they're down, judge them, and throw rocks," Mallette said in an interview for TCW.

"So many Christians have entered the entertainment world and there are so many temptations, so many things that are setting them up for failure. When the church turns their back on them, then it's reinforcing that outcome," she said.

Mallette urges a different response: "We need to rise up as a body and say, 'Not this one. We're going to pray for this one—we're going to encourage him, we're going to cheer him on and bless him,' instead of judging him and getting so angry."

After Bieber allegedly egged his neighbor and received a DUI arrest earlier this year, Mallette is right in asking us to pray for her son.

In her memoir Nowhere But Up, Mallette explains how she dedicated her son to God: "When Justin was a baby, I dedicated his life to God in a special ceremony at my church, much the same way that Hannah dedicated Samuel in the Bible . . . . That day I prayed and asked God to raise Justin up to be a leader and a voice to his generation."

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May 25

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