Was Justin Bieber pressured by Hillsong Church to propose to Hailey Baldwin? A new tabloid report claims he only popped the question because of Carl Lentz and his church. Gossip Cop, however, can debunk the story.

A headline in the latest edition of Star announces, "Justin & Hailey's Holy Romance: Why The Church Pushed Bieber To Propose!" The magazine claims Bieber didn't ask Baldwin to marry him out of his own volition, but was talked into an engagement by Lentz and his religious organization. "The church leaders are determined to increase membership, and what could be better promotion than Justin getting engaged?" a so-called "insider" is quoted as saying.

The outlet's supposed source asserts that Bieber "went from a spiraling druggie who slept with hundreds of women on tour to a Christian family man — all thanks to Hillsong." Unsurprisingly, neither the publication nor its alleged tipster offer any proof to substantiate the claim that Bieber was a "spiraling druggie who slept with hundreds of women," nor do they acknowledge that his faith was a strong part of his life long before he became a superstar. Even in 2011, at 16 years old, Bieber discussed his devotion to God in a Rolling Stone cover story, which described him as a "heartfelt Christian."

The tabloid's article continues with its untraceable "insider" maintaining that following Bieber's breakup with Selena Gomez earlier this year, "Carl pushed Justin to get back together with Hailey; she's a devoted Hillsong member and the ideal choice for a wife." The tabloid calls Bieber "slavishly obedient" to Lentz, and contends he "took the suggestion as gospel." Now Lentz allegedly has "the idea to have Hailey and Justin lead 'commitment workshops' for other celebs and rich members — and of course, split the profits with Hillsong." Concludes the questionable snitch, "Without Carl, this engagement wouldn't have happened."

There's two significant problems with these allegations: Bieber doesn't worship at Hillsong much anymore, and he and Lentz are no longer close. As TMZ reported last week, Bieber and Lentz had a falling out a while back. That was clear in video taken of the pastor in Australia, in which he said he had no thoughts on Bieber's engagement, and gave a perfunctory "sure" when asked if he was happy about the news.

These days, Bieber most frequently attends services through Churchome, formerly known as The City Church. That's where his pastor, Judah Smith, is based. Bieber and Baldwin just visited the church's Washington headquarters last month. And numerous times over the last year Bieber has been seen leaving the Saban Theatre, where the church holds services in Los Angeles. Star proves its ignorance, and the falsity of this story, by not mentioning any of this.

And while Bieber did mention Jesus in his Instagram post about the engagement, the entirety of his tribute to Baldwin makes it clear he proposed out of love, not pressure from a third-party. In fact, if the engagement was solely due to Hillsong, a church he really doesn't even have much to do with anymore, he needn't have posted the loving message to the model at all. It seems the tabloid is trying to rain on the couple's parade, but the facts don't support it.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.


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