The Art of Misimpression

2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

False Prophets

So, I looked up the meaning of “false prophet” on on their interlinear. And this is what it says: “Someone pretending to speak the word of the Lord (prophesy) but in a fact is a phony (imposter), acting as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” This person “specializes in the art of misimpression,” and “they operate by self and for self,” not in the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, this is about someone who willfully aims to deceive, who is knowingly (to themselves) a fake, a pretender, whose goal it is to deceive and to trick and to manipulate. And they do indeed specialize in the art of misimpression and/or in the art of misrepresentation. And “misimpression” is “a faulty or incorrect impression; a misconception.” And misrepresentation is “the act or state of being represented incorrectly.” And an impression is “a strong effect produced on the intellect and feelings.” (Source:

Since the goal is to deceive all people, including seasoned Christians and/or those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, “the art of misimpression” usually is a mixture of truth and lies so that what you read or hear has the impression of truth, but it is a twisted truth which is cleverly and skillfully being blended in with lies. And I see this much in social media memes, and I read it much or hear it much in today’s modern sermons and/or via blog posts or threads created on Christian discussion websites and/or in “Christian” literature.

But I am also aware that it exists much in what are called “Christian” movies and TV series and/or cartoons. And TV/movies and cartoons are strong means of making misimpressions in people’s minds and hearts because, via a movie or cartoon, we can feel with the characters, and we can get much more emotionally involved in the stories than we might by just reading written documents. And they count on that, too. And so they toy with our emotions to get us to get that “misimpression” they want us to have.

Modern Examples

Now two recent examples of this, I believe, are “The Chosen,” which is a TV drama series purportedly about the life of Jesus Christ, and “Jesus Revolution,” a movie about what has been regarded as a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970’s and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California, called “The Jesus movement,” I believe. For both of these alter the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the character of God/Jesus, and the Scriptures, and they leave many “misimpressions” about God/Jesus and about the gospel and the teachings of the Scriptures.

Now, to be honest here, I only saw two segments of “The Chosen,” but it was enough to see what was going on there, and I have not seen the entire movie of “Jesus Revolution,” but I have watched a few movie clips and I have listened to and watched interviews with the movie actors, and I have read reviews, and so I have heard and seen enough of that one to also see the “misimpressions” there, too. And, again, movies are a powerful way to leave “misimpressions” because the audience gets emotionally involved.

A lot of these “biblical” movies, though, take many liberties with the Scriptures, and they misrepresent who God/Jesus really is, perhaps not entirely, but enough to deceive naïve minds. For many young people and even children are watching these movies, and so many of them are forming their impressions of God/Jesus and of the Scriptures and of the gospel of our salvation based off what they are seeing on the screen and not from the Scriptures themselves.

And it is the same with social media memes, for many of them appeal to the human senses and to our emotions, and that is how many people are drawn into them. And many of them have an element of truth in them, enough to make them believable, but there may also be a twist. For there is the untruth (the lie) which is cleverly inserted to where the undiscerning do not even see it. And so they blindly accept what they just read as truth when, as a whole, it is not the truth. And these are deliberate “misimpressions.”

For, you see, it is not so much about doctrinal truth anymore, but it is about impressions. For these memes and movies and cartoons appeal to the human senses because we live in a very “feelings oriented” culture. It is more about how something makes you feel than it is about truth and righteousness and holiness. So, if it makes you feel good, it is tagged as “good,” and if it makes you feel bad, it is tagged as “bad.” And so that is why the truth of the gospel is being tagged as “bad,” because the truth offends people and it makes them feel bad, and they only want to feel good.


Now the lie is that we, the people of the world, are all God’s people, and that God is with everyone and he is our companion and he is on our side whether or not we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith. And the lie is that God looks the other way when we sin and he is okay with us sinning, and he doesn’t judge us but he just loves on all of us. And the lie is that everyone is going to heaven except for maybe the really evil people of the world, and that faith in Jesus Christ is a mere one-time profession of him as Lord and Savior, and that heaven is guaranteed us no matter how we live.

But the truth as Jesus spoke it is that if anyone is going to come to Christ he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin and live to his righteousness, then we have eternal life in him. And not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God (Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23).

And the truth is that, by faith in Jesus Christ, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves (addicted) to sin, but now as servants of righteousness and as slaves to God. So, if after we profess faith in Jesus Christ we continue living in willful, deliberate, and habitual sin, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God, and we will not enter into God’s heavenly kingdom.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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