Appearing chained up and submerged underwater, Justin Bieber attempts to change people’s perceptions of him during a new feature interview with Complex, where the pop star openly talks about his faith as it pertains to his newfound independence.
Bieber, now 21, tells Complex he’s gone through a series of growing pains, and most of his legal and PR woes over the last several years were overblown by either the media, or overzealous police officers. Additionally, the pop star says he’s cleaned house of old friends, and he would like to live more like Jesus.
When talking about former girlfriend Selena Gomez, Biebs says, “It was a marriage kind of thing… we were so in love,” before explaining how the experience of lost love has made him closer to God.
“People have made it seem in movies that it’s this fairy tale. That’s not what love is. You’re not gonna want to love your girl sometimes but you’re gonna choose to love her. That’s something in life that I had to figure out. I can’t lean on people. I got to lean on God. I gotta trust in him through all my situations. Then, hopefully, my other relationships will flourish around me.”
“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. I think that with Christians, they’ve left such a bad taste in people’s mouths. Just like, overly pushy with the subject, overly churchy and religious.
…I think that everybody should get their chance to share what they’re doing or where their journey is headed, whether they’re straight or gay or what they believe in. We’re in a place now in 2015 where people have gotta be open-minded. I actually feel better and more free now that I know what I can do and what I can’t do.
The “Baby” singer then says, “I just wanna honestly live like Jesus. Not be Jesus—I could never—I don’t want that to come across weird.”
“He created a pretty awesome template of how to love people and how to be gracious and kind,” says Bieber. “If you believe it, he died for our sins. Sometimes when I don’t feel like doing something, but I know it’s right, I remember, I’m pretty sure Jesus didn’t feel like going to the cross and dying so that we don’t have to feel what we should have to feel.”
And in other news, Mr. Bieber was recently accused of grabbing a Playboy bunny’s breast at a party.