The Covenant Eyes Podcast

Misled: A Conversation on Distorted Gospel, With Allen Parr

October 11, 2023 Pastor Allen Parr, Covenant Eyes, Karen Potter, Brandon Clark Season 2 Episode 56
The Covenant Eyes Podcast
Misled: A Conversation on Distorted Gospel, With Allen Parr
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Calling all truth-seekers! Ever felt like you've been told half-truths about your faith? Ever questioned the "truths" you've been taught about your spiritual gifts? Our guest, Pastor Allen Parr, speaks from his heart about his experiences of being misled during his college years, and shares valuable insights from his latest book, "Misled: Seven Lies That Distort the Gospel and How You Can Discern the Truth". This intimate chat is a must-hear for anyone seeking clarity and discernment in their Christian journey.

In the second half of our conversation, we take a deep-dive into the darker side of Progressive Christianity and how it can distort one's faith journey. Pastor Parr shares his views on embracing suffering as a part of our fallible lives and the importance of striving for holiness as an ongoing journey, not a final destination. Whether you're grappling with false teachings or wrestling with the struggles of faith, this episode promises to enlighten your path with much-needed insights and guidance.

Connect with Allen Parr on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thebeatagp
https://www.allenparr.com/
https://www.letsequip.com/bibleaccelerator/
Order the book today! https://www.letsequip.com/misled/


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Karen Potter, MA Ed.
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Brandon Clark:

Hey, covenant Eyes. We're back here with the Covenant Eyes podcast for a great episode that we recorded with Pastor Alan Parr. He's become a very good friend of Covenant Eyes and he has a new book out. In this episode that's exactly what we talked about, karen.

Karen Potter:

Yeah, it's a fantastic book and we're going to dive into it. You're going to learn what's in the book and how it can help you in your spiritual walk. So just stay tuned and check out this episode. Hi everybody, Welcome to the Covenant Eyes podcast. We're so glad to have you joining us live in our studio in Owasso, Michigan. It's been a while since we've been in studio, Brandon, it sure has.

Brandon Clark:

A little bit of a different setup this time around. It's just a great opportunity to be able to come together and have a couple of conversations with our good friend, Pastor Alan Parr.

Karen Potter:

Absolutely Well. Hello, pastor Alan Parr. Welcome to Owasso Michigan.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Oh, it's been great. Thank you for having me. The weather is really nice. I'm escaping the 100-degree weather in Dallas, so excited to talk with you guys today. Love Covenant Eyes and love supporting what you are doing.

Brandon Clark:

You're a Michigan boy, though. Right, you spent some time in Michigan. I have yeah.

Pastor Allen Parr:

After graduating from college, I worked in Detroit, michigan, for a couple of years at Ford Motor Company before I left there to go to seminary Awesome.

Karen Potter:

Nice. What did you do at Ford? What were you doing? I was an engineer. Oh my gosh, that's great.

Pastor Allen Parr:

I love history and shut the door on an engineering career pretty quickly.

Karen Potter:

Okay, we're glad he did, because you're doing some great, amazing work.

Brandon Clark:

It's so am I Trust me Awesome.

Karen Potter:

Well, we're here today to talk a little bit about your new book that's out For our listeners. Can you give them a little bit of a history on what led you to write this book?

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah yeah, the name of the book is Misled Seven Lies that Distort the Gospel and how you Can Dissern the Truth. Actually, the motivation for why I wanted to write this book is really kind of threefold. First and foremost, looking at my own life, there was some lies or false teachings that I was exposed to in college that really sent me down a path, theologically and practically, that I would hope to spare many people who may not know that they're being misled, because, as the old saying goes, the worst thing about being deceived is that you don't know you're being deceived. Right, and there's a lot of people that I know that if this happened to me in college, where I was in a church that was really high energy and really exciting, but the teaching and the practices of that church were not biblical, I know there's a lot of people stuck in that. Also, just over the years I've had a lot of friends who, just having conversations with them, it's clear that they're subscribed to some theology. That's just not right and I saw their lives going in different directions that really could have been saved from those things had they not been misled by false teaching. But then also on my YouTube channel I mean the Instagram messages, the emails, the comments on the YouTube channel, and when I'm reading all these things, it's so clear that there's a generation of people out there that are just really confused about how to discern truth from there, so I wanted to write a book to help clear that up.

Karen Potter:

That's awesome.

Brandon Clark:

What I really appreciate about the book is that you actually lead with vulnerability. So when the book is beginning, you're talking about your own experiences, talk about how that really helps set the stage for not necessarily being like a preaching at you sort of book, but more I'm with you, I've experienced it and this is what I want to present as you go along the book.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah Well, it just shows that we're all susceptible to it. You know, it can happen to any of us, because false teachings most of them are not straight heresy, where the person up there is saying Jesus didn't rise from the dead I mean most Christians can discern off and I go back to that church. Right, Because that's that at least. I don't know a lot about the Bible, but I know that's wrong. Right, but it's like they're. They're hidden because they're using scripture and they're very persuasive in their tone and in their delivery. And if you're not really discerning and you're not really up on hermeneutics which is fancy word for how to interpret the Bible correctly, it's easy to be let astray. And that was me. That was me in college. I didn't have a firm grasp on how to study the Bible and they were using scripture, taking it out of context most of the time, and as a result, I, you know, it's been like four years in a church. That was not healthy, and so I think if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone.

Karen Potter:

So true. So give us a couple of a couple of the ways that people are misled. You know from your book what are a couple of those really top ways.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah, so chapter one, I jumped right on into speaking in tongues. Oh yes, and you know my position in the book is not necessarily to try to make an argument that this gift isn't Seized or anything like that kind of stay away from that. But I do talk about how it's being misused in the church and things like People telling other people that if you don't speak in tongues you're not a Christian. Or if you don't speak in tongues, you don't have the Holy Spirit. So maybe you're Christian, I have a Holy Spirit, which makes no sense. I can be Christian, I have the Holy Spirit. Or if you don't speak in tongues, you don't have the power that God really Want you to have, because we are the varsity Christians and you're the JV Christian if you don't speak in tongues. And it just creates this divisive type of thing, this division, and it makes people covet a gift that Maybe God hasn't given them, and so I talk a little bit about that. Another one that's probably really really applicable for today is progressive Christianity, and I spoke about that a little bit yesterday and you know I don't know how much we want to get into that now, but that's just. You know, there's so many Christians who Want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to have a Life where they're free to be their own God, and they want God to co-sign it. And there's a movement of people who are claiming to be Christians that are saying that the culture has progressed on these things, things that used to be considered taboo or no longer taboo in the culture, and so, because that is the case, god has progressed in how he feels about these things, and we stone-aged Christians need to get on with the program and progress as well. We have progressed, and you need to too, and it's just a very dangerous it is.

Karen Potter:

You have a quote in your book. Actually, I'm gonna read it because I want to make sure I get it right. Progressive Christianity allows the culture, rather than the Bible, to dictate what is moral and immoral. I mean, that sums it up right there. I think we've really all seen that play out in many different ways across Culture. I think we see that even with our work with pornography, because, you know, culture has made it okay and even Christians in the church now kind of are not able to discern that Pornography is, you know, destroying their lives and the blast radius is getting larger and larger. So very interesting.

Brandon Clark:

Yeah, I wanted to deeper into the, the progressive Christianity, but I'm curious about the title. Was there a concern or a Nervousness in naming the book misled and using words like lies and truth? Like, how did the discernment process go there? And and when you, when the book finally, you know, hit the market because it is out Inavailable, which we'll talk about, how has it been received?

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah, well, you know it's. It's interesting. I thank God for our editor because my first pass at it was probably Very dogmatic in a lot of these issues, which I think there's at times and places where you need to be. But what I, what we really tried to do, is be very gracious about the different viewpoints to make sure that even if somebody was Tuning they're, they're reading this book and maybe they didn't agree with it, at least they felt like I represented their position well and I was kind and tactful in terms of but firm right, and so it's been received really well. And the title of the book we feel like it really represents well the content of the book and I do personally believe that the seven things I discuss in the book are lies that I think the enemy is using to lead more people to stray. And one things I love about the book is you know we introduced that fictional character whose name is Jaren and you know if you read the book, it's just. It just makes the book easy to read because Each chapter starts with a story from a fictional character whose name is Jaren. Some of those stories are kind of personal for me. Others are just ones that I've made up or friends that I've known, and he's on a quest to find a Bible-based church and it keeps running up against Churches that are leading a mystery.

Karen Potter:

Absolutely. The other thing that your book really does a good job of talking about and exposing is the prosperity Gospel which. I think is it's dangerous and it's hurtful. Would you dive a little bit into that topic and talk to us a little bit about how dangerous that is?

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah well, you know that is very, very dangerous because At the heart of it it really prays upon most I would probably say all humans Greatest desires, that the giant desires, is that they want to be healthy and they want to be wealthy. I don't know any person who, if you said, hey, do you want to have wealth?

Brandon Clark:

No, I'll take one of the two.

Pastor Allen Parr:

We all want that, right? I mean that. So it promises that, embedded in the finished work of Jesus Christ, is that we are promised to have health and Wealth. And it's very dangerous because when people aren't experiencing this, they are made to feel like it's their fault, right, hey, you didn't have enough faith to trust God for your healing, so it's never God's fault, because these blessings of health and wealth are always available to you. It's like a goldmine that's under your Ground, that's like a hundred feet under your ground and it's in your backyard, mm-hmm, and it's there for you, but you may not know that it's there, for you could be living in that house for you know, 10, 15 years, but never dig and find it. But it's there, right, and that's the way these blessings are. They're there, they're available for every Christian, but you have to dig with your faith in order to dig deep enough to access it. And it can create a lot of pain, because not only is somebody maybe Not healed or their loved one wasn't healed, but now they're made to feel like it was their fault, right, because they didn't have enough faith to trust God, and then ultimately, that can turn into anger towards God because, god, you promised me that this was going to be happening, and Now it's your fault.

Brandon Clark:

Wow, yeah, returning to the progressive Christianity portion, there's something that's really interesting, and I don't want to make this about politics in any way, but when we see the breakdown of the family and the marriage and we see the breakdown in the church you called it deconstruction in your book that's going to impact our communities. That's going to impact how our society runs. What message would you have for our listeners about Reconstructing the church and making sure that we are centering ourselves on that truth, which not only then builds back up the marriages and the families, but then also builds the communities around us?

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah, well, and that's the thing is that you know, when you start looking at some of these Moral issues that have become, that at one point we're taboo, right? I mean, 100 years ago, if you would say can a man marry a man, I'd say 99% of the culture would say no. But once again, that's the whole problem because the culture has progressed now. Well, that used to be bad, but you know it's okay now. So it's really. It's impacting the foundation of our families and you know, at the end of the day, people want to be happy. Happiness is the new God, and Anything that infringes on my happiness I don't want. I don't, I don't want that right. So, and that's why progressive Christianity and movements like that are so Dangerous, because it basically teaches people that you can be who you are. God accepts you the way you are. He wants you to stay that way, and that can really impact, obviously, the breakdown of the family and you mentioned, you know, happiness, like everybody is seeking that as well.

Karen Potter:

I think comfort is another thing that's holding Christians back. I think we're comfortable. We don't want to rock the boat white, you know, we don't. We don't want to address our sin and in our lives because we're comfortable. Right Things are good, that mortgages paid, the cars in the driveway. So how do we overcome that and realize, like the Christian walk is difficult and you know, oftentimes we're gonna have struggles and challenges. We're called to that. I mean, look what they did to Christ right, and we are, we are following him. So how do we overcome some of those things?

Pastor Allen Parr:

I mean yeah, culture, yeah, well, I think, as, as Christians, we have to and that's the. That's the thing that's troubling about Progressive Christianity, because they're claiming to be Christians and we have to understand that part of Christianity, at the heart of it, is we have to lay down our desires for what God would have for us. And you know, all of us, whether heterosexual or homosexual, we all have the same like the, the bar is holiness, right, I mean, at the end of the day, if you're a married man, you know you may see a woman that you are Attracted to, right, but you don't get a free pass to act on that, because this is who I am. This is how God has created me to be. He's created me with these natural desires to want multiple women. Like, we still have to submit that desire under the Lordship of Christ. So if you're Same sex attracted, you can't just say, oh, because this is how I am right. We're all born in sin. David said so. We all have the same Responsibility, which is, excuse me to, to surrender our sinful nature to the will of God, and that's a that's a challenge for all of us.

Brandon Clark:

And I think really it speaks to our call to pick up the cross and carry it with it. Jesus is very clear in the Gospel about laying down your desires, laying yourself, setting yourself aside to be able to bear that cross. What message would you have for our listeners about embracing suffering? I mean it's not fun, but it really is the way to the cross and to Jesus.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah, Well, you know, we can't expect. I mean, jesus said the student is not greater than their master right. So he said if they, persecuted me, they're going to persecute you. And that's once again this whole prosperity Gospel thing, which promises a life of ease, a life of comfort. And when I read the Bible, I don't see that right. I see Jesus being persecuted. I see Jesus not having a place to lay his head. I see Jesus suffering. I see the apostles dying and being martyred, being persecuted for their faith, and then also see that they promised that this was going to be our reality. I mean, Peter said that in 1. Peter Paul talked about his sufferings and his trials and Jesus said hey, just as they persecuted me, they're going to persecute you. So you know, we have to understand that suffering is not fun, it's not easy, it's not something that feels good, but it is something that unfortunately is part of this fallen world. And we're not going to be free of suffering until we meet the Lord Jesus face to face one day.

Brandon Clark:

Yeah, and Karen, I think it really speaks to the people we work with at Covenant Eyes that sometimes breaking free of pornography and sexual sin is a struggle. It's a journey. We're not going to get it right, maybe the first time around, and so maybe you could speak to this a little bit too, about embracing the journey and bracing the hills, the valleys, and recognizing that it goes back to what you mentioned earlier, just that striving for holiness.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean it's funny Sometimes. I think we have this false idea of deliverance right, and I'll be careful when I talk about this because you know I have some friends on YouTube and you know they'll promise that you know people can be completely delivered from every minute and it's like, well, what does that look like, you know, for instance, when you have someone who's struggling with pornography? I think we want a quick fix. Living in a world where we want someone, we want to go to a service, we want them to lay their hands on us, and then we are. I am now officially delivered from my pornography habit.

Karen Potter:

That would be great yeah.

Brandon Clark:

I mean come on.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Like, yeah, so I'll never, ever be tempted, ever again, because now I'm delivered, right. And first of all, I always tell people that you know, watching pornography it's not a spirit of, it's your sinful nature, right? I don't see the. I mean, yes, there are some, there's external pressures of world is sexualized and things like that. But at the end of the day, james says what? That we are tempted when we are led astray by our own lusts, our own desires, right? And so, at the end of the day, we can pray for deliverance, we can do all these things, but we have to submit our will. It's a daily decision and, in regards to what you're saying, I think that we need to strive for progress and not perfection. I think that holiness is a journey, it's not a destination. We're never gonna get to the place where, oh, I've arrived. I'll even say this way sexual purity is a journey, it's not a destination. No, one's gonna say I have arrived and now I am sexually pure, right? No, we're all on a constant journey to that. And so I think, if we see it that way, give ourselves a little grace, but we'll also recognize that we need to look for progress.

Karen Potter:

Absolutely. I think there's a danger, too, with us thinking that we're beyond our sin right, Because that is when Satan will certainly tempt us and we can fall you know, pray to those sins that we've had in the past. So, yeah, I think it's a good word of caution. I think a lot of times, the people that we work with here at Covenant Eyes, a lot of them, understand that the journey is long and it's hard to overcome sexual sin. However, from time to time, when we're at conferences or different places, talking to people, we do see people that believe like, well, what are the three steps you know to find freedom, or what is the quick fix? And I think we really, as a culture, need to get past this idea that everything can be done quickly.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Instagram seclusion yeah three steps.

Karen Potter:

to freedom, Like it's sanctification, is a lifelong process and we have to be. I mean, perseverance is something that we must have for this journey. Is that correct?

Pastor Allen Parr:

Absolutely, absolutely. You know and I understand where people are coming from. They want some practical tips on how to do this, how to do that, which you know. We can give those all day and I'm sure you all have them on your website. I've got videos, but I always tell people the best step I can give people to overcome any sin is fearing God. Fearing God Because, at the end of the day, when you fear God, like God, how are you going to discipline me if I don't get this habit under control? How is this going to impact my marriage? How is this going to impact my ability to be a good father or a good mother? You know, when you start to fear, okay, god, how are you going to choose to, like I said, discipline or punish? Not punish me, but how are you going to discipline me if I continue to go on this journey? For me, that's what allowed me to really experience freedom in my life and in different areas in my life, because I got to the point where I said you know what? I don't want to give God any reason to take this away from me or to diminish my ministry, reputation or my reach. I want to have a good conscience before God. I want to be able to be a servant of God that has a clear mind, a clear conscience, and so really fear in God is a key to overcoming any sin.

Karen Potter:

Absolutely.

Brandon Clark:

That's really important. One of the things that I've often pondered and prayed about is just the finality of death, right? So, even going back to your book, you know, in exposing the lies and sharing the truth, there's going to be people out there that just say not Pastor Allen, you're wrong, you know, and they're going to experience what truth is when they get to heaven's gates. Right, the finality of death, and I think we so often get caught up in, and not that it's not a beautiful thing to live life and enjoy the things we've been given marriages and families and good jobs and stuff like that but it's so easy to forget about. I could die tomorrow or I could die in the next hour, and then we're going to wake up Literally and see what really is.

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah, yeah absolutely, yeah, exactly, and that's the thing is that we wanna make sure that we are maximizing the time that we have, because we don't know how long we're gonna be here, and so we wanna make sure that we're not being bogged down with sin and addictions and different things like that. I know that's what you all are really helping trying to help people get free from that, because it can really erode from your life, your family, your career, your ministry, your ability to reach non-believers and, most importantly, your relationship with God Just feeling guilty and bogged down and ashamed all the time and not being able to connect with God the way God intends.

Karen Potter:

Yeah, that's awesome. Well, for our listeners. As we bring this interview to a close, what are your hopes and wishes for people that read this book? What is it that you're hoping that they accomplish by reading this book, and what will happen?

Pastor Allen Parr:

Yeah. So I'm really hoping that they will read it with an open mind and I hope that they really really allow themselves to open this book and say you know what, even though maybe I've been taught these things in the past, I'm gonna read this book with an open mind and look at the scriptures and how it's been presented and possibly reevaluate their beliefs on these things and if they are currently attending a church that is teaching one of these false doctrines that they would hopefully strongly consider looking for another church. And then, finally, I pray that it opens the opportunity for conversations. I hope that people read this book and maybe they don't agree with something and they screenshot a page of it and say, hey, what do you think about this? Sending it to a friend, you know, let's have a conversation about this visit, because I really hope that it'll spark conversations, because I believe that that's what will help people really get to the truth of what God says about these types of things.

Brandon Clark:

Great. We really need more of that, Just being able to even if you disagree with each other being able to sit down at a table and have a conversation. Misleadbookcom is the website as well, where people can go and check that out.

Pastor Allen Parr:

That's correct, and for those who go there, we're actually giving a way of free biblical literacy course. Oh, awesome. So if they put proof of purchase in to a form that's on that page, we'll send them a link where they can log into a free course that will help them discern and learn how to study the word of God.

Karen Potter:

That's awesome. So you're gonna learn about some of the things maybe you're being mislead on, and then you can, in turn, get better at it by taking the course and learn how to actually and to reach it by the.

Brandon Clark:

He's a pretty smart guy there, I loved it.

Pastor Allen Parr:

You are not even anyone hanging on this one.

Karen Potter:

That's great, well, I would encourage all of our listeners to get your copy of this book today. It is fantastic, I know. For me personally, as I was reading it, I so much of it either applied to my life in the past as a Christian, as an early Christian, or even some things that reminded me to kind of check where I am right now and make sure that I'm listening and following biblical teachers that are actually using scripture the way that we should be using it, which is just as it's written. So it was a great book. Thank you, pastor Ellen.

Brandon Clark:

Thank you, I appreciate it and it really goes back to furthering the kingdom right. So I mean at the end, like it's all about the kingdom of God and making sure that we are well prepared for meeting Jesus, right, because, as I mentioned, it may come sooner rather than later. But what I love about it, karen, is that it really just gets to the heart of these are our core beliefs and there is really only one way right Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. So, pastor Ellen, thanks so much for writing the book, thanks for being on with us today on the Covenant Eyes podcast to talk about it, and Karen really can't encourage enough for our listeners to get out and check out the book.

Karen Potter:

Absolutely Well. Thank you, covenant Eyes family, for joining us for this episode of the Covenant Eyes podcast. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, leave us reviews and then don't forget to share it with all your friends and family. Until next time, god bless, take care, alright, guys.

Misled
Progressive Christianity and Embracing Suffering