The Covenant Eyes Podcast

Misled: Discerning the Truth Amidst Today’s False Gospels, With Pastor Allen Parr

June 21, 2023 Covenant Eyes/Pastor Allen Parr Season 2 Episode 31
The Covenant Eyes Podcast
Misled: Discerning the Truth Amidst Today’s False Gospels, With Pastor Allen Parr
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we’ll visit with Pastor Allen Parr, ordained ministry, speaker, YouTuber, and author of Misled: 7 Lies That Distort the Gospel (And How You Can Discern the Truth), about:

  • The idea behind writing this book.
  • The false beliefs/problems that are distorting the Gospel in the Church today.
  • How the lines of sexual sins like pornography and sexual deviancy have been blurred.
  • How we stop the “deconstruction” of the Church.
  • In his opinion, the biggest threat facing the Church today.
  • The one thing that he’d like readers to take away from Misled.

More Information/Resources:



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YouTube: @thebeatagp

Facebook: @allengparr

Twitter: @allengparr

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Hello Covenant Eyes and thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Covenant Eyes podcast. We're so excited to be with you. We've been doing a bunch of interviews here at NRB. I'm one of the hosts, Brandon Clark, joined by Karen Potter. Hey, Karen. Hey, how's it going? I'm doing great. We've just had some great conversations here at NRB so far. Oh, so many. We have a lot more to come. We've been meeting a lot of amazing people. Here's what really encourages me though. So many people.

doing the work of the Lord.

all in one place. It just brings a fire into your heart, doesn't it? Absolutely. You cannot leave this place thinking, oh my gosh, you know, bad things are happening in the world. You leave this place going, oh my gosh, God's on the move. I'm so excited. And those bad things might be happening, but we can do something about it. I know. I'm so, so empowered by this conference here. But today we have one of our favorite guests returning to talk to us. Pastor Alan Parr is joining us. Hey, Pastor Alan. Hey, it's great to be with you all again. I love Covenant Eyes and love all that you all are doing.

glad to be back. Great. We love the work you're doing as well and we actually have you on to talk about a book that you wrote that's coming out on June 13th. So to our listeners be ready June 13th this book is coming out and we're gonna dive into it. It's called Misled Seven Lies That Distort the Gospel and I love the last part of it and how you can discern the truth because there's a lot of voices out there. So let's as we dive in let's talk a little bit about the

behind this book, why now go there? Yeah, yeah, so first of all, thank you for having me on. And the inspiration, really, I tell people, this book has been kind of writing itself for probably the past 25 years or so, even beyond. It really started in college when I, and I share this story in the book, in college where I was involved in a church that was teaching.

false teaching that I didn't know because I was a young believer. I was just excited to be in an environment where I was cared for, loved, and it was very energetic. The worship was high and I love all that stuff. There were some things that were going on at that church that was not consistent with the scriptures and there's some practices that were following that that were not consistent with the scriptures, but because I didn't know any better I wasn't able to discern truth from error.

And that led to some difficult things that I had to go through, which I'm sure we'll talk about in just a moment, that really sent me down a path for the next few years of just being confused about what I believed. And thankfully, I was able to get out after four years of being in that unhealthy church, but many people aren't. There's a lot of people that watch my videos and I look at their comments, and that's part of the inspiration as well. I see how deceived and misled many people are from the truth.

And then finally, the final inspiration is not only my personal life and the people that I interact with in ministry, but I've had a lot of friends over the years who I've had conversations with who have been deceived by false teachings and some of them have never really came back from the faith and never really recovered from it. So I wanted to write a book that addressed what I believe are seven of the most destructive false teachings and how we can discern the truth.

That's great. Well, Pastor Allen, I actually got to preview the book and I appreciate that. Thank you for sharing it with me. But there are so many truths in here that I think a lot of us have experienced firsthand. You talk about speaking in tongues, the health and wealth kind of movement in the faith, progressive Christianity. All of those things are so impactful, especially to the younger generation. I see a lot of my friends who are going to churches where these types of things are being promoted, but they don't see and they don't have the discernment.

What kind of advice can you offer to them because they're not really willing to see that yet, but is there anything that you can speak truth into their life and maybe help them a little bit? Yeah, well, you know, the first thing I would say is to make sure that they don't just immediately assume that something is true because it comes out of the mouth of a pastor or a spiritual leader, particularly if they're just using scripture, right? Because...

Scripture can be used in a lot of different ways. We can twist the Word of God. We can take verses out of context There's a lot of biblical hermeneutical I'm gonna use a fancy word as a and that's just a fancy word for the science of interpreting the Word of God There's a lot of rules that we can break and we can make the Bible say whatever we want it to say So I would encourage someone to make sure that they are always Questioning

whatever they hear and not just assuming that, oh, my pastor said this, I can trust him. And so we need to question. And I would also encourage them to get some sort of biblical training with regard to how to properly interpret the Word of God, whether it's an online course or maybe a Bible college or a seminary course or something they can audit so that they can have the tools themselves to be able to discern truth from error.

It reminds me of Ronald Reagan, right? Trust but verify. Yes. And I think that's a really important message, especially with all the different voices out there. One thing I'd like you to hit on really quick before we dive further in would be for this book. So we recognize that it's for discerning truth. But you also mentioned that it's for well-intentioned people, well-intentioned teachers who maybe aren't teaching the full truth like halfway there. But that's still damaging in itself. Yeah.

yeah well that's the interesting thing about the things that i talk about this book is that even though these are what i call seven lies that distort the gospel embedded within each of these lies is a certain amount of truth if they were just flat out complete heresy in total lies

Most all Christians would be able to discern immediately right away. Oh, wait a second. I'm not gonna go to this church anymore I'm not gonna follow this person online. I'm unsubscribed from this YouTube channel because it is heresy We put that in the category of heresy, but there's another category that is below Heresy that would be considered false teaching or even maybe if we don't want to call it false teaching destructive doctrines, right if you will and these are just things that

contains some level of truth, but there's just enough falsehood in there that really could lead people astray. And one of them, for instance, would be speaking in tongues. Now, I'm not saying that speaking in tongues isn't a gift. That's not even what I present in the book. I don't talk about whether the gift has ceased or anything like that. But there are some ways that that gift can be misused in the church. And so when somebody says, hey, you need to speak in tongues, that could be true if that is your gift.

and that's how God wants you to communicate with that could be true. Yeah. But then if I come back and say, if you don't speak in tongues, you're not a Christian or you don't have the Holy Spirit, you see how there's some truth, but then there's also.

a lot of falsehood that we have to be careful with. Yeah, I totally understand that. I love in your book you talk a little bit about, and I've heard this a lot throughout my life and my journey with Christianity, you know, your words have power, right? And I love that you bring that up because for so long people would be like, oh, don't speak that over your life and all this other stuff. And you take that head on, talk a little bit about kind of why you brought that up in the book and why you thought it was important to point that out. Yeah. So once again, this is another great example of how

there's truth to that, right? Our words do have power, right? So if I said to my wife, you're no good at anything. If I say to my kids, you're never gonna be good at anything and you're a failure. My words have the power to discourage my children or discourage my wife. And so in that sense, our words have power. So that's why everything needs to be taken in context. What do you mean whenever you say our words have power? Or if somebody says, hey,

The Bible says that, you know, life and death are in the power of the tongue. That is true. I have the ability to speak life into my wife and into my children. I also have the power to speak death over their dreams and death over the things that they want. So that is true. But then when we go the extra extreme and we say that, oh, you know, because we've been created in the image of God, in Genesis chapter 1 verse 27, we've been created in the image of God.

And therefore, because we've been created in the image of God, then therefore we are little gods. And just as God had creative power, he said, let there be light. And he said, hey, I'm creating the earth and the world and the universe and galaxies and everything in seven days. Therefore, we have the same ability to speak things into existence because our words have power. Right. And I'm just like, no, that's not quite what God had in mind when he said, I'm creating you in his in my image. And so we take these things.

And we teach these things to people and say away, hey, speak this over your life. Or even like you mentioned, Karen, how sometimes people will be afraid. And I talk about this in the book, where people will be afraid to speak negative things over their life. Like if they're sick, some people will say, well, I don't feel comfortable saying I'm sick because I could be inviting a spirit of sickness.

Like really? Yeah. Wow. Like this is just taking things to the extreme. Yeah. It's weird too, because in the business world, all of the best business coaches out there are always like, speak it into existence. You've got to see yourself as a victor. Yes, manifest. Yes, the manifest thing. It's huge out there. And so when you bring this up, I mean, a lot of us who have a business background and have been through a lot of those programs, we can see those red flags. But there's a lot of people out there that just take that.

like melted into their Christianity and they just build it right in and it's so it's false and so I love that you bring that up in the book. Yeah. And one of the things that I think is very refreshing is I've always heard in ministry to lead with your weaknesses right if you aren't vulnerable and transparent with your own life and the things you've experienced you really are gonna have a tough time connecting with your audience and you do that right up front in your book you lead with your vulnerability

And like you mentioned, part of your experiences are why you wrote this book. Can you talk a little bit about that vulnerability? Yeah, well, you know, that's very, very important because what I wanted to do right out at the beginning of the book is try to make sure people understand that the importance of discerning truth from error is not just some sort of mental, intellectual, theological exercise. It actually can impact your life, right?

And so, you know, perfect example in the book, I talk a little bit about, you know, an experience that I had at the hands of a pastor who was struggling with same-sex attraction and I did not realize that at the time. And he took a liking to me and, you know, he tried to make some advances towards me and obviously things didn't go any further than that. But the point is that, you know, had I been able to discern early on...

that there was something not quite right about this pastor and his teachings.

I could have potentially avoided, you know, what could have been potentially a very damaging situation for me. Thankfully didn't get to that point. But I wanted to lead with that to make sure people understood. For instance, in the book, I also talk about a friend of mine who lost his sister to cancer. And everybody told him that if he had enough faith and prayed for her and had people praying for her that she would be saved, or excuse me, she would be healed of this cancer.

So he put his faith in that and trusted that and the Lord decided to take her home. And that was devastating for him and it devastated his faith. And then he started blaming himself. Maybe I don't have enough faith. Maybe it was my fault. And then he started blaming God. God, why'd you take her away from me? Which are all very valid feelings. But I wanted to lead with these types of stories, both in my life and other people's life, to show that the importance of discernment is not just about...

knowing more about what you believe, if you go down these false roads, they can impact your life in ways that could lead to some very difficult situations later. Yeah, 100%. I think so, and I think it even ties into some of the deconstruction of faith that we see now, because when you go down these roads that are false, and things don't work out, you know, you don't get rich and you don't get all the fame that you were looking for, that you were promised if you just prayed hard enough, you can actually start to deconstruct your faith. It's really dangerous, so.

Let's talk a little bit about, I did really enjoy some of the stories that you put in here and the one that specifically really meant a lot to me was the one where you were talking about your friend that had the sister with cancer because I have seen that so many times in many different Christian circles where you just, you don't have enough faith, you're not praying hard enough, you're not believing if you're sick, well you must have, you must not be right with God, you must have sin in your life. How is that dangerous to Christians?

I see it so frequently. Yeah. Well, you know, the health and wealth prosperity gospel, which is a false gospel, it's so popular because it preys on most human beings' two greatest desires. We all want to be healthy and we all want to be wealthy. I mean, I...

I'd be hard pressed to find anybody on the earth that would say, no, I don't want those two things, right? So when you have a newer Christian who is coming out of the world and they have difficulties in their lives, they have trouble in their lives, they may be struggling with certain things, or maybe they're sick, or maybe they don't have a lot of money, and then they see these flashy preachers who have all this, and they say, hey, the way I got this is through faith, through faith, through activating my faith, and if you have this faith, God will unlock these things, right? And so...

You know, you have all these different things and people are believing these types of things and it can lead to very damaging experiences for people because what happens here is that not only does it create this false guilt within me because now I feel responsible for the fact that someone I love did not get healed or they weren't able to be cured from this, but then now you start to blame God.

and then you start to see god as someone who is not one who fulfills his promises i can't trust god because god promised this and god is up in heaven like wait a second no i never promised any of these things matter of fact i promise that life would be

filled with difficulty and that there would be suffering. But Jesus said, I have overcome the world, right? And even Peter talks about suffering in his writings in the New Testament. So Jesus himself suffered. So I mean, it's like, yes, he wept, he suffered. He experienced the loss of Lazarus, his friend. So if Jesus and the disciples experience this, then how can we expect to go through life and not experience it?

It's so true. I think it ties into people that come, especially to covenant eyes with pornography addiction. I mean, they want the instant cure, but it's hard work. This is gonna take, it's a journey that you have to go on. There is no magic formula here. You can't just, I mean, some people do find freedom. I mean, I'm not gonna say God doesn't work miracles, he does, but it's a process. There is work to be done, and you can't just walk down and expect it to go away.

I think we see some of that too in our work here at Covenant Eyes. A lot of people expect instant miracles from God and, you know, that doesn't always happen. Yeah, yeah. And I really see what you're talking about as a manipulation of sorts for vulnerable people. When people are open spiritually, they can be manipulated. And I think that's really, I think that could be a little bit of the underlying theme here in the book is that people are being manipulated in believing these lies.

And it's really crushing when they find out it's not true. Yeah, and once again, I mean, the thing that makes this so difficult for many Christians is that most all of these pastors who are promoting this, they're using scripture. They're using scripture. They're using verses like, you know, in the book of Deuteronomy, I want to say it's a chapter eight where it talks about God has given us the power to get wealth, right? Okay, that's true.

He was talking to the nation of Israel, and he does give us the power to get wealth, but that doesn't mean that every single Christian is going to be wealthy, right? But people who don't have the discernment, they're looking at these verses that are just being thrown at you from the pulpit that sound really good, right? And they're just being taken out of context a lot of times. Yeah. That's really what we see, too. One of the lies you talk about is the progressive church and the message that is going on.

my truth and your truth and just so much relativism. I'd like to talk about the lines and how they've gotten blurred on issues like sexual sin, pornography, things like that. Yeah, yeah. So in chapter five of the book, I have a whole discussion about progressive Christianity. And for those who may not be familiar with that, that is a branch. And I hesitate to call them Christian, but they consider themselves Christians. And

you know as the society has progressed on certain social issues certain moral issues uh... therefore we as the church need to get in line and progress because god has progressed god has progressed on his view of the unborn and the sanctity of life and god has progressed on a woman's right to her her body and do do god has progressed on you know uh... his view of same-sex relationships in same-sex marriages so if god has progressed

and the culture has progressed, then the church is the last in line. We need to come along and progress and believe these things. It's really an attack on the nuclear family. It's an attack on the sanctity of life and the unborn. You have these people who claim to be Christian and they're saying, hey, we need to make sure that people who...

may have a same-sex attraction that they're treated, you know, in a way that maybe they can be, um...

was where I'm looking for. They can be ordained in church. We need to be open and affirming many churches. I like the open part, right? We need to welcome people in, but the affirming part where we affirm them, Jesus said, come as you are, but not stay as you are, right? Come as you are so I can clean you up and change you and make you look more like me. In many progressive churches, it's like come as you are and we accept you to stay as you are and that's pretty dangerous.

And the Bible speaks about we can see our growth through the fruits in our lives. So when you're looking at some of these progressive churches and you see people in the same place that they were when they walked in the doors, you have to wonder what's going on here. So I think it's great that you bring all these topics up. What is, for our listeners out there, what is the best way that they can get their hands on this book and order that? Can you talk a little bit about that, where it'll be located? Yeah, sure. So we have a landing page, Once again,

and it is from that page where they can actually order it. There's links on that page where they can order it from their favorite booksellers, Barnes & Noble,, Amazon. And also we have a free gift on that page as well. It's an online course that we're giving away to anyone who can show proof of purchase. All they gotta do is just put their confirmation number in there and fill out a little form.

and they'll get an email back with instructions to log into a free course that we're giving them to help them be more discerning so they can discern truth from air so great one last question when you were written when i was reading your book and you to call out a few pastors pretty directly in here so are you at all nervous about any of the attacks you might receive after this book goes live out there yeah that's a great question you know i i i i tried to make sure that uh... i'm not necessarily attacking

that particular person, but more so focused on a specific teaching that they may have presented. And it becomes very, very difficult to not mention their name when I'm trying to address a particular teaching. So I feel like, you know, I try to be very careful. My editors help me even get even more careful to make sure that we say, hey, I'm not discouraging this entire person's ministry and saying, hey, they're...

going to hell and you don't need to listen to anything that they're saying but these specific things that they said here or this website where they have these things written

you may want to be, take caution for these areas. And so, yeah. But I also think that there's going to be some controversy that's going to come along with it. I'm sure. But maybe, you know, maybe you'll also, maybe they don't know what they don't know either. So hopefully this will reveal, you know, some of the errors and some of their teachings too. It could stir the spirit a little bit. It could, yeah, I love that. I do have one last question too, for our listeners who have tuned in to this particular podcast. The way you lay it out in the book, when you talk about the lies, is such that you talk about,

what the issue is, you talk about the reasons that's a problem, but then you also talk about how to find balance and truth. So what would you leave with our listeners as a, let's call it a call to action after reading this book? Yeah, yeah. So one of the things I want people to do is I want them to question. I want them to actually start asking questions. I want them to read it and say, wow, I was taught this, but man, this, he's making a strong case for this. Let me start questioning this. I want people to have conversations with other people.

So I want to make sure that they engage in conversation. But the biggest thing is I want people, with every chapter I have, the ending is called a healthy balance, right? At the end of every chapter. Because at the end of the day, we want to make sure that we're not taking too far of an extreme position in any direction because there is some truth to many of these things. For instance, prosperity. There is truth that there is a biblical prosperity, right? There is an element that...

It's okay for you to be rich. It's okay for you to have nice things in life. So we don't want to take the other extreme and say, oh well, you know, the poverty gospel, which is what I talk about. It's like, oh, the poorer you are, the more spiritual you are, right? So we have to balance. And I think that that's what my whole ministry is about is being biblical and also being balanced and not taking too far of an extreme on these secondary issues.

uh... that are not that are non-essential to the faith now that's a great take away word balance spasser al-apar thanks so much as a as always it's a pleasure visiting with you we look forward to visiting with you again on the podcast and for listeners please will will have the link in the show notes but visit miss lead book dot com again it goes on sale june thirteenth so

Can you pre-order the book as well? You can pre-order it right now. You can pre-order the book. So as you're listening, you can head to that website, Absolutely, and it's a great read. Oh my gosh, my eyes were opened. It really is. Yeah, I mean really, it's a fantastic book. I encourage everyone to get out there and get it. Thank you everybody for tuning in for another episode of the Covenant Eyes podcast, and until next time, we'll talk to you soon. God bless.