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Why parents may want to see “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”

Last Updated: April 10, 2015

Ron DeHaas
Ron DeHaas

Ron DeHaas is the president and co-founder of Covenant Eyes. Ron has a BS and an MS in Geology from The Ohio State University and attended the University of Michigan as a Ph.D. candidate. Ron pioneered the concept of Accountability Software and founded Covenant Eyes in the spring of 2000. Today, nearly half a million subscribers enjoy the Screen Accountability that Covenant Eyes provides. Ron also founded Nehemiah Ministries, a 160-acre retreat and counseling center in south-central Michigan for pastors and missionaries.

It used to be “Do you know where your child is right now?”

But now it’s “Do you know what your child is tweeting right now?”

Social networking has been in the news a lot (for instance, because of its role in the violent protests going on in Middle Eastern countries right now). But parents may not be aware of the important impact social networking, and in particular Twitter, has on their children.

If you are one of those parents unaware of the magnitude of this medium, you should go see the movie about Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.

I saw this movie on Sunday, and I must say that it is an interesting “documentary” of a heretofore impossible phenomenon on the role of social networking’s effect on culture. Bieber makes frequent posts on Twitter, which by itself has exploded his popularity. It is evident that he also worked hard to get where he is, but without Twitter, it is likely he would be less known. Currently Bieber has over 7.5 million Twitter followers. That means that every time he posts something, over 7.5 million people—mostly young women and girls—are able to read it immediately.

So, as for the matter of guarding your children’s hearts, do you know if they follow him? I am not saying it is a bad thing to follow him, but it is fair warning that many young girls who follow him may actually feel like they are having a personal relationship with him every time he “sends them” something. If you, as a parent, are not aware of this effect on their hearts, you should go see this movie. It is incredible.

I also think that parents should be aware of the lyrics of the songs their kids listen to, and also the character of the musician. There is no doubt in my mind that the spiritual vacuum of our society today is largely a result of parents abandoning their God-given role as the dominant influence in their kids’ lives.

So who is Justin Bieber? Do his lyrics convey a redemptive message, or a message of secular humanism?

Justin Bieber was raised in an apostolic church in Stratford, Ontario. That church’s website explains that they try to guide each member to his or her “destiny,” toward one of five gifts according to Ephesians 4:11 (“He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”). It is said that his mother sought the counsel of the elders at church about his future.

So I looked for an inkling into his spiritual condition in his music. Now, let me be quick to add, I have read very few of his lyrics, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard one of his songs outside of this movie. I am not being judgmental, because I don’t think I can fairly say one way or the other. However, in all of the lyrics I heard in this movie, the closest I heard to the message of his church was:

I never thought that I could feel this power
I never thought that I could feel this free
I’m strong enough to climb the highest tower
And I’m fast enough to run across the sea

Cuz there’s just no turnin back
When your heart’s under attack
Gonna give everything I have
Cuz this is my destiny

I will never say never…

Justin Bieber is clearly multi-talented, and he seems in the movie like a nice young man. As is obvious in the movie, he has captured the hearts of millions and millions of young girls. I have no way of knowing whether this movie fairly portrays his character or not. But I do know the heart of my 16-year-old daughter well enough to know what her reaction is. In fact, it was at her prodding that I saw the movie.

Her reaction is irrelevant to my point. My point is this: If you are a parent, you must educate yourself about the influences on your children, which are vastly different from when you were their age. If you don’t know their heart in what they are sharing on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, or even more dangerous sites, you may blindly be contributing to emotional or spiritual setbacks in their lives.

  • Comments on: Why parents may want to see “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”
    1. Mark Pearson

      Hey! Good old Megaron coming to talk to us!

      Oh, it’s J-Beibs…interesting kid. Quite famous, supposedly adorable, and made famous by his recently chopped (and sold) locks of hair.

      But, Ron, my question to you is, is he really worth analyzing?

      Here’s the scoop: he’s a seventeen-year-old R&B superstar. He HAS captured the hearts of millions. His songs are the kinds of works only a love-struck teen could write (hence the “Baby” stutter). And any parent has the right to be concerned about it. Look at the Twilight craze; totally revolting material, readily made popular.

      In the words of me, when I’m tired, “Most of today’s media is garbage. It’s time to take out the trash.”

      So as far as a JB analysis, I think we need not search for his garbage. His mom would flip if he joined Rihanna and Eminem in the business of raunchy music. For now, he’s just a fun guy somebody happened to stumble across on YouTube. I bet you that in ten years, he’ll have settled down, married one of his fans, and be virtually unknown by those teens.

      But I could be wrong…

    2. Ken Miller

      Are you the Ron DeHaas who shared an apartment with Ken Miller in 1969-1970 at Ohio State? If so, and if you would like to re-establish contact, e-mail me at the address above.

      • Ron DeHaas

        I’ve looked for you as well – I keep coming up with some old guy named Kenneth Lee Miller who wrote a book about Moby Dick!

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