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Steve Arterburn and New Life Ministries Lead To Hell!

September, 2003

Steve Arterburn is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and is the host of the nationally syndicated New Life Live! [formerly called The Minirth-Meier Clinic] daily radio program. In addition, he is the founder of Women of Faith. Since its inception in 1996, attendance at this conference series has exceeded 2 million women. He is a best-selling author of more than 40 books and a nationally known public speaker. His most recent books include Feeding Your Appetites, Every Man, God's Man, Finding Mr. Right, Every Man's Battle, Flashpoints and Every Man's Marriage. (www.newlife.com/steve, hard copies of all documentation on file and available upon request)

Arterburn is a false teacher (2 Peter 2:1-3) who is deceived and deceiving others (2 Timothy 3:13) through both his Women of Faith and his New Life Ministries. He claims to provide "Wisdom from the Word," but it is actually ungodly wisdom and deception from the world (1 Corinthians 3:19). Besides some of the more obviously lame advice of "pamper yourself" and "hugging a pillow" (see below), note some of the following destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1-3).

I. Homosexuals In Heaven

Paul and Sosthenes wrote,

Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9b-10; see also 1:1)

Rather than taking heed to this word from God, Arterburn is deceived and deceiving others as to the destiny of homosexuals. Arterburn posts on the New Life Ministries web site the following question:

Dear Newlife, Last month my cousin was tragically killed in a plane crash while on a business trip with clients. My cousin was a loving and caring man, who always put others before himself and was one of the kindest people I've ever known. However, for years my family and I secretly suspected he was gay. He never brought up the subject, we think to protect us from ever making it an issue. It's funny what a death will bring about because we knew for sure at the funeral. We had gone to visit him last summer, and met his roommate who was in reality his partner, who's also a nice person. My cousin was probably the most non-stereotypically gay guy I have ever known but a lot of the signs were there. He was a successful interior designer in NYC, enjoyed gardening and had an extensive collection of antiques. All of that aside, where does that put him now? He was not only in my opinion but all who knew him a wonderful person. I don't want to believe that he would go to hell for being gay because he was so much more than that. I believe that God is loving enough to see past that one part of his life because he lived the rest of his life in a very respectable godly manner. He didn't feel comfortable talking to his parents about (sic) when he was alive, they still don't know. What are your opinions on all this? (www.newlife.com/answers/steve_answer033.html, link no longer available, hard copy on file)

Arterburn answers,

The question would have been whether or not he met God's criteria for entering heaven. God's criteria is His Son. If your cousin accepted Christ as his Savior, he will be there. If he did not, he will not be in heaven. It is the same criteria for all of us, gay or straight. (ibid. Arterburn's entire answer is quoted)

This is comforting deceit for those who have a loved one die as a homosexual. The hard core truth is, homosexuals go to hell (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 5:5-6; Revelation 21:8). Arterburn's deceptive answer fails to recognize that the "gay" have rejected God's Son. The very fact that they are still gay proves that they are unbelieving and obviously (via homosexuality) unclean and immoral (see Genesis 19:12-28; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:24-27; Jude 7).

II. A False Savior, Which Denies The True One

A. For Alcohol and Drug Addicts

In an article entitled "10 Signs You May be Chemically Dependent" Steve Arterburn writes after listing the ten signs,

Help is available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. New Life Ministries has resource materials about chemical dependency and we have caring Christian professionals available to speak with you. Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE. (www.newlife.com/10tips/BT310_chemically_dependent.html, link no longer available, hard copy on file)

Instead of giving the simple answer of salvation in Jesus Christ (John 8:36), they recommend themselves and their "Christian professionals" as the Savior from such bondage of sin.

On their home page (www.newlife.com) they have the question, "Drug or alcohol problem?" Then they have, "Click here." On that next page they write,

If you or someone you love is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, we can help!

Since 1964, Calvary Center has been a leader in Christ-centered addiction recovery. Calvary's beautiful campus and compassionate staff present an ideal environment for breaking the bondage of drug or alcohol dependency.

Calvary's affordable, proven treatment program addresses the practical, physical, and spiritual aspects of addiction, setting the stage for long -term recovery and restored family life.

One paragraph later,

There truly is hope for alcoholics and drug abusers and we can help you take the first step. Call us and ask about Calvary Center. (www.newlife.com/calvary.html, bold added, link no longer available)

Indeed, there truly is hope for alcoholics (drunkards) and drug abusers, but it is not in a "treatment program" that is "affordable." Real hope is free and is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:1), the Savior of mankind, who saves His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21; John 8:34-36; Romans 6:14, 18, 22), including the sins of drunkenness and drug abuse (Ephesians 2:1-10).

It is not that Christ saves from ever being tempted again (Hebrews 4:15), or ever sinning again (1 John 1:8-10), but He does save from the bondage of sin, the very lifestyle that creates and perpetuates addiction (1 John 3:9). But New Life knows no such simple faith and power.

B. For The Sexually Immoral

At the end of an article entitled, "The New Life Live Sex Addict Test" Arterburn writes,

If you think you're a slave to your sexual passions, then you need to get help for your addiction by talking to a counselor or therapist. You can call us anytime at 1-800-NEW-LIFE and ask about treatment options. One option is [a] program for sex addiction called the "Every Man's Battle Workshop." (www.newlife.com/10tips/BT351_sex_addict_test.html, link no longer available)

Instead of telling these men to repent and turn to Christ (e.g. Acts 3:19), which is all they need to do (2 Peter 1:3), Arterburn gives them "treatment options." Of course, the former is free and there is no need for "a counselor or therapist;" the later might bring some dough.

By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:3)

Another example of New Life's false Savior can be seen in a question and answer format where someone says,

My son is a Christian 17 year-old boy who admitted that he is addicted to pornography.

And then a little later asks,

He wants to be set free. He knows it is wrong but says the temptation is unbelievable. What can we do to help him overcome? (www.newlife.com/answers/joe_answer025.html, link no longer available)

The substantive part of Joe Dallas' answer reads,

Yes, get him into counseling immediately.

Reading "Every Young Man's Battle" would help, of course. But in addition to this, contact New Life Ministries and ask for a referral. New Life has a network of therapists who specialize in treatment of sexual addiction, . . . (ibid.)

Again, "treatment" is the savior, not the Lord God, who says,

There is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:21b-22)

The salvation of God is not a simple fire insurance program. The Lord God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the only Savior, and He sets men free from the bondage and power of sin, truly free, for free (John 8:34-36; Romans 5:15; 8:2). There is no treatment program needed.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Twice Paul told the Romans that they had "been set free from sin" (Romans 6:18, 22). Why? Because they truly had been set free, without any treatment program.

Part of the problem with New Life's philosophy (Colossians 2:8) is that they believe a person can be addicted to sin, and yet still be a Christian. As Corrado Militi exemplifies in his statement to a woman whose husband had a "pornography addiction,"

I believe that your husband's addiction, is a way of avoiding painful feelings and a substitute for some deep, unconscious longings that likely originated in his childhood and have little to do with you. Share this information with him. At the same time, as a Christian, he needs to know that his behavior is a sin and that he needs to deal with it. (www.newlife.com/answers/corrado_answer001.html, bold added, link no longer available)

Corrado calls him a Christian. There is no way such a man is a Christian. Scripture says,

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:5-6)

Corrado's words are empty, because a man addicted to pornography is very unclean; for in his heart he is an adulterer (Matthew 5:27-28; Revelation 21:8).

C. For Gluttons (enemies of the cross of Christ, Philippians 3:18-19)

In an attempt to comfort a possible glutton in an effort to get him or her to think back about their past, Gregory L. Jantz, Ph. D., writes,

Try hugging a pillow to yourself to help you feel safe and anchored. (www.newlife.com/10tips/BT402_emotional_eating_test.html, bold added, link no longer available)

In the article, "10 Strategies to Cope with the Urge to Overeat," from New Life Ministries, in number two they encourage people to,

Give yourself positive statements while you examine your struggle to overeat such as: "This urge is strong now, but I know it often goes away in a few minutes. Hunger signals come and go and increase over time. I'll rate the intensity now and again when it returns." "I'll trust myself. I'm confusing my emotions with my urge to overeat." (bold added)

In number ten they encourage people to,

Pamper yourself. Plan things you enjoy doing each day, even if you have a limited amount of time. When you're well-nourished emotionally, you'll be less likely to turn to food. (www.newlife.com/10tips/BT407_10_strategies_cope_overeat.html, bold added, link no longer available)

When left to the wisdom of the world (as above) followers of New Life Ministries certainly inherit some serious folly (Proverbs 14:18)! A pillow brings no safety or anchor, and such idle words only comfort the simple minded (Proverbs 14:15; Romans 16:18). Trusting in "myself" will only solidify foolishness (Proverbs 28:26), and when dealing with temptation, pampering oneself only encourages people to be "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God" (2 Timothy 3:4) and to find refuge in the flesh, rather than in Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16; 6:19).

Furthermore, for gluttons as well, New Life recommends a treatment program. On their home page, for those who are anorexic or bulimic they refer them to,

Remuda Ranch, the nation's leading treatment center for women and adolescent girls suffering from anorexia and bulimia. (www.remudaranch.com/?flash=yes)

Both of these conditions, both anorexia and bulimia, are "treatable" by a simple faith in Jesus Christ. Because,

"He who believes in Me [Christ], as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive. (John 7:38-39a)

The Holy Spirit is given to all who obey Him (Acts 5:32; Hebrews 5:9), and one of the results of having the Holy Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:23). Therefore, those who believe in Christ have self-control, and with such self-control, lifestyle conditions of anorexia or bulimia would no longer exist once they turned to the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:4-10). With the Savior, it's a simple solution, but when left to the wisdom and deceit of the world, it is not only complicated (in comparison), but costly both monetarily and eternally.

The Remuda Ranch program costs approximately $1575 a day (1-800-445-1900) with a 45-60 day treatment time (www.remudaranch.com/about_us/why_remuda.asp). This works out to be approximately $70,875 for a 45 day treatment, which is far less than the eternal cost (Mark 8:36). Those who follow such deception without repentance will be in torment forever (Revelation 21:8), because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10), but instead followed lies (Proverbs 19:5, 9; Revelation 22:15).

D. For The Rebellious

New Life posts the question:

My son, 16, seems both depressed and angry. We live in a rural area and don't know how to help him. His behavior is aggressive and rebellious-disturbing us and our two teenaged daughters. He demands to have rights, but is unwilling to take any responsibility... he has confessed to suicidal tendencies. He does not want to live under our authority, but is willing to accept consequences for behavior we have forbidden. We cannot seem to get to the root cause of all his anger, other than he feels we have pushed him into a "mold".

Henry Cloud of New Life Ministries answers in part,

The first thing that I would do is to take the suicidal feelings seriously and get him to see a professional psychiatrist or psychologist immediately. (www.newlife.com/answers/henry_answer001.html, link no longer available)

What this boy needs is not a psychiatrist or psychologist (professional or otherwise), but this rebel needs the Savior, the Lord Jesus. He needs to be warned that rebels, such as himself, go to hell (1 Samuel 15:13; 2 Samuel 23:6-7; Revelation 21:8). He is evil (Proverbs 17:11), and needs to be saved (Isaiah 64:5). Mr. Cloud gave no such saving truth in his answer.

E. For Panic Attacks

In an article entitled, "The Truth About Panic Attacks" from New Life Ministries, they write,

A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. It is far more intense than the feeling of being "stressed out" that most people experience occasionally. Symptoms of a panic attack can include...

  • racing heartbeat
  • difficulty breathing, feeling as though you "can't get enough air"
  • terror that is almost paralyzing
  • dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea
  • trembling, sweating, shaking
  • choking, chest pains
  • hot flashes, or sudden chills
  • tingling in fingers or toes ("pins and needles")
  • fear that you're going to go crazy [no need to fear that, you have gone crazy!] or are about to die

In addition to the above symptoms, a panic attack is marked by the following conditions...

  • it occurs suddenly, without any warning and without any way to stop it.
  • the level of fear is way out of proportion to the actual situation; often, in fact, it's completely unrelated.
  • it passes in a few minutes; the body cannot sustain the "fight or flight" response for longer than that. However, repeated attacks can continue to recur for hours.

A panic attack can be terrifying, largely because it feels "crazy" and "out of control." Panic disorder is frightening because of the panic attacks associated with it, and also because it often leads to other complications such as phobias, depression, substance abuse, medical complications, even suicide.

In fact, the phobias that people with panic disorder often develop do not come from fears of actual objects or events, but rather from fear of having another attack. In these cases, people will avoid certain objects or situations because they fear that these things will trigger another attack. (www.newlife.com/10tips/BT352_panic_attacks.html, link no longer available)

What's the answer they give? Treatment, of course:

Can People With Panic Disorder Lead Normal Lives?
The answer is a resounding YES - if they receive treatment. Panic disorder is highly treatable, with a variety of available therapies. Once treated, panic disorder normally doesn't lead to any permanent complications. (ibid.)

Proverbs 28:1 says,

The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.

The reason people have "panic attacks" is because they are wicked, and their trust is not in God. For if they did trust God, they would be at peace (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6-7). Therefore, faith in Jesus Christ is once again, the answer.

But, New Life deceitfully influences people away from faith in Christ, as Steve Arterburn writes for number two of "21 Beliefs of an Unhealthy Faith,"

When tragedy strikes, true believers should have real peace about it. (www.newlife.com/10tips/BT340_unhealthy_faith.html, link no longer available)

Arterburn writes this as an "unhealthy" concept ("faith"). Yet, what he calls "unhealthy" God portrays to be very healthy.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. (Psalm 46:1-3)

In other words, no matter what happens, we will not fear; God is a very present help in trouble. True believers should indeed have real peace when tragedy strikes (Isaiah 26:3). Job did (Job 1:13-22; 13:15), and so did David (2 Samuel 12:15-23), who wrote,

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. (Psalm 56:3)

F. For Depression

New Life posts the question,

I have suffered from depression and mood swings all my life. I've been on so many antidepressants in the last decade I could be considered a seasoned lab rat. At least that's the way I feel. Serzone is what I'm on now, 550mgs. but I still suffer deep depression. I don't get much sleep. I have periodic highs which I'm just now recognizing. None of the doctors would even consider that I was bipolar when they know my sister and mother have been diagnosed bipolar. I have lost hope of ever feeling better. I have suffered for so long without any glimmer of help or relief. Any words of encouragement would be like water on a desert right now. Thanks in advance. -Suzanne

Paul Meier answers,

Hi, Suzanne! It sounds like you have some bipolar tendencies (read my book, MOOD SWINGS). The good news is that there is certainly some combination of meds you will feel great on the rest of your life. Serzone is not for you -- it's good for mild depressions. The best combination for someone with bipolar tendencies is Topamax or Neurontin as the mood stabilizer (both are equally good, but Topamax makes you lose 20 lbs) and either Effexor XR or Wellbutrin SR or both as the antidepressant. Come to my day hospital for 3 weeks if you want to, and I'll adjust your meds daily until we get it right. (www.newlife.com/answers/paul_answer010.html, link no longer available)

This is crazy (in more ways than one)! Here again, the answer they give is a "treatment," this time, in particular, meds (i.e. drug treatment). This woman does not need drugs, she needs Jesus Christ. Of course, if she refuses Him, then drugs would be in order, particularly alcohol (Proverbs 31:6-7).

Jesus is the answer to depression? Yes indeed He is. For when someone has Christ, they have His Spirit (Romans 8:9), and they not only have joy (Galatians 5:22), but also the "rejoicing of the hope" that comes with faith in Christ (Hebrews 3:6); and in this they greatly rejoice (1 Peter 1:6); even while being grieved by various trials (1 Peter 1:6).

You see, "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression" (Proverbs 12:25), but those who obey God find the peace that surpasses all understanding; and they rejoice always (Philippians 4:4-7).

For more examples of the "meds" Savior, see the following articles [links no longer available]: www.newlife.com/answers/paul_answer013.html
www.newlife.com/answers/paul_answer016.html
www.newlife.com/answers/paul_answer019.html
www.newlife.com/10tips/BT323_freedom_from_fear.html
www.newlife.com/10tips/BT396_five_fear_factors.html

May the Lord deliver you from those who speak perverse things (Proverbs 2:1-12).