New Life Live: June 10, 2016


From the Archives of New Life Live, This Show Originally Aired November 11, 2004

Topics: Engagement, Forgiveness, Weight Loss, Affairs, Dating, Christian Walk
Hosts: Steve Arterburn, Dr. John Townsend, Dr. Henry Cloud

Caller Questions:

  1. I am 23yo engaged to an older man with 15yo kids; how do I convince my family I know what I am doing?
  2. How do I forgive my husband for having an affair with my coworker and leaving me with the bills?
  3. Why does your Lose It for Life workshop work for weight loss?
  4. Is it reasonable to remain distant to my husband while he has an affair? Or is that causing him to get closer to her?
  5. I am a 5yr Christian praying for a wife; should I just sit and wait on God?

Suggested Resources:
New Life Journal
Every Heart Restored
Lose It for Life
Emotional Freedom Workbook
How To Get a Date Worth Keeping

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.


  1. This program is an example of the “biblical wisdom” and “discernment” which is prevalent with these “Christian” counseling programs. A young woman (23), never married, calls in and seeks the advice from the hosts (Professionals, Doctors, Authors,) on how she can convince her parents to accept her “engagement” with an older divorced man (43). This man lives in a different state as she is still in graduate school. This man also has twin fifteen-year-old daughters.
    I believe it is very important that we do some math in this situation. This young woman says she knew this man for four years prior to the engagement. The show is dated November 2004, and she was engaged to this man since July of 2004. She stated dating this man a year and a half prior to the engagement. Even if this woman turns 24 in December of 2004, she knew this man when she was 18, most likely she was 17.
    There seems to be a lot missing in this as we do not know how they came to know each other. I can understand why her older brother and parents are uneasy about this relationship…I was too. But if this age difference was the only thing one would question, then there is very little “discernment” on the part of the hosts. The final solution to this young woman’s problem from these counselors was to wait and get to know each other more, and that she should have a “New Life Journal”, ask for prayer, and discernment….
    The first question I had is why is this man divorced?
    I want to be clear that I understand New Life Ministries position on divorce and remarriage. This Statement of Faith: “We further believe that marriage is a covenant relationship that is mirrored in the relationship between Christ and His Church (Revelation 19:7, 21:2, 21:9). And although the Bible states that divorce is permissible in two unusual circumstances (adultery as described in Matthew 5:31, and abandonment of a Christian by a non-Christian as described in I Corinthians 7:15), we will do all we can to preserve marriage.”
    I too believe marriage is a covenant, but I would biblically argue that divorce is NOT permissible to end a covenant. The two popular stances are the “exception clause” of Matthew’s Gospel (5:31,32 and 19:9), and the “Pauline Privilege” (1 Cor 7:15) of Paul’s letter to Corinth. These “unusual circumstances” are not based on strong biblical hermeneutics, but rather in acceptance of the articles on divorce and remarriage in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
    A sound biblical stance is one man and one woman for life (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9) and taking a section of Matthew’s account and replacing the “except for fornication”, of which is specific to Jewish betrothal, and replacing it with the all-encompassing “except for sexual immorality”, is not only erroneous, it is damnable heresy. Also, the provision for a believer to have “peace” in the case of an abandoning spouse is not permission to divorce and “remarry” another while the covenant spouse is still alive. The simple reason is that no one is without hope in Christ, yes, even an unbelieving abandoning spouse… I am sure the hosts would agree to this?
    Regardless, what should be more than obvious to the listener is the fact that neither Steven Arterburn or Henry Cloud asked this young woman the reason surrounding this man’s divorce. They gave this young woman advice that they did not think it was a good for her to be in this relationship, but overall they approved this relationship based on specific criteria that needed to happen in order to strengthen the relationship…The wisest advice IS coming from her family, since they most likely know the details left out of this broadcast.
    This woman made a claim that she and her fiancé read all these great books by Cloud and Arterburn, and they were doing their “homework” but she seemed to let out the most important book of all. The book that tells her that she should not be with a man that is divorced. The Bible tells her that to marry a divorced man is ADULTERY!
    Since we do not have a clear understanding of his divorce, it could be possible that her relationship with this man initiated the divorce from his wife. If this is the case, Dr. Cloud and Arterburn have just gave this woman exactly what she wanted to hear and permitted her to remain in an adulterous affair.
    The problem with ministries like this, and they are all the same, they assume, or the viewer must assume that the divorce was grounded in biblical circumstances. We have to assume by listening to this young woman that the man she wishes to marry initiated a “biblical” divorce.
    Here is another caveat that needs to be considered. What is the biblical position of this divorced man’s wife? According to 1 Cor 7:10,11, if she was divorced from this man, she is to remain unmarried or reconcile the marriage. Well, reconciliation would be very difficult if New Life Ministries are “approving” of this relationship. What would the boys say if this young woman’s fiancé’s divorced wife called the program? What words do these ministries have for the faithful spouse of covenant who endures the “unilateral divorce” of a marriage, and see their covenant spouse exchange vows by preachers and ministries who teach lies?
    Also, 1 Cor 7:10,11 say that a husband is not to divorce his wife. If this is the case, shouldn’t the boys know about this, or would it seem that we can all understand that this young woman is telling the truth that her 40-year-old boyfriend is “biblically” divorced?
    Also, what if the man’s wife divorced him because he was having an affair with this young lady?
    Also, what if the divorce was “mutual” and not under New Life’s biblical understanding of either the exception clause or the Pauline privilege? Would New Life have the courage to tell this woman she is in an adulterous union based on the fact it is adultery if there is an unbiblical divorce and remarriage? We will never know…that is until we come face to face to the Lord and give an account as to why we acted like marriage is anything other than one man and one woman for life.
    This program should be a stark reminder that this nation needs to repent of hard hearts which divorce into sanctified adultery. If that was only half of it…These wicked ministries need to repent for taking the Lord’s name in vain to promote books and publications of traditions of men, instead of teaching the truth about marriage straight from the word of God. It is sad examples like this where biblical” discernment” is discarded for worldly wisdom.
    Marriage is one man and one woman for life. Any other teaching is not only erroneous, misleading, and deceptive, this teaching is damnable to the thousands of souls in sanctified adultery, believing a civil paper ended what God sealed in Heaven…. Repent while there is still time. Repent of EVER believing a civil paper can end what God bonds in Heaven. Repenting from sanctifying adultery is teaching that a covenant one-flesh marriage can only end in death, and that divorcing from “remarriages” is fruit of repentance by ending the sin of adultery. There is still time.
    In Christ’s love,

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