Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz has said he believes Justin Bieber is "serious" about his Christian faith and shared details about the singer's 2014 baptism in an NBA player's bathtub.
During an appearance on Oprah Winfrey's "Super Soul Sunday," the megachurch pastor first revealed he met Bieber through The City Church pastor Judah Smith.
"Through Judah, I was able to become a friend of Justin. To make a long story short, his baptism was a moment where he was going through it and he was pulling himself up."
"He's serious," Lentz said of Bieber's faith. "People say, 'What does it mean to be a serious Christian?' Look at Justin, he's a work in progress. He's never said he's perfect, he's never said he is the representation of Christianity but I'm proud of him for admitting he's a Christian in the middle of and knowing he's going to have more problems. I love that about Justin."
The pastor credited Bieber's mother for planting the seeds of faith in him, but said the "Sorry" singer came to a point where his faith became his own and wanted to be baptized.
"He got to a place where he was like, 'I want to start fresh, and I want to make this real. What is baptism, what does that mean in this context?'" the pastor recalled.
Lentz said he and Smith explained baptism to Bieber describing it as "an outward sign of what's God's doing [inwardly]."
"Jesus did it, He commanded us to do it and if you're for real we'll baptize you," Lentz told the singer.
It was difficult to keep Bieber's baptism a secret, as he was continually followed by "a million paparazzi people," Lentz said, adding that they tried four different locations before finally calling his friend at 3 a.m, NBA star Tyson Chandler, and asked if they could use his pool.
The pool was unavailable but Chandler offered his custom-made bathtub: "So we got up there, and Kim Chandler, Tyson's wife, had some food out, like regular stuff for our type of church, and it was probably one of the most special things I've been a part of," he continued."We just prayed and talked about what it meant and it was a pretty special moment."
Lentz added that Bieber was emotional at the time of his baptism: "It's impossible to not be moved by it. That's why baptism is such a big deal because you don't fake a baptism. That's why we don't necessarily baptize babies. That's a church tradition, that's fine but babies don't have any control of you dunking them in the water."
Today, the "What Do You Mean" singer frequently speaks about his Christian faith. However, in the time prior to his conversion, the singer made headlines for his bad behavior, including egging his neighbor's house, using illegal drugs, spending time with prostitutes, and abandoning his pet monkey in Germany.
In an earlier interview with GQ Magazine, Bieber credited his newfound faith with saving him from being a "terrible" person.
"I feel like that's why I have a relationship with Him, because I need it. I suck by myself," he said. "If I was doing this on my own, I would constantly be doing things that are, I mean, I still am doing things that are stupid, but... It just gives me some sort of hope and something to grasp onto, and a feeling of security, and a feeling of being wanted, and a feeling of being desired, and I feel like we can only get so much of that from a human."
"I could say it over and over again, I'm changing and doing this with my life," Bieber told Complex in an interview earlier this year.
"At this point, my faith has gotten me to where I am...My faith has brought me to a whole other level. I love talking about my faith. Personally, love Jesus and that was my salvation. I want to share what I'm going through and what I'm feeling, and I think it shouldn't be ostracized."