THE English International version dictionary defines a misnomer as ‘the use of a term that is misleading; it is the use of an inappropriate name’.
A misnomer is a term whose common usage conflicts with a technical sense. Simply put, it is a term which does not mean what it is purported to indicate.
Oftentimes, a misnomer carries irony; it is simply a wrong designation which, however, may be widely used or popular.
Against this backcloth, the term `manofGod` has become a commonly used term in recent times within the charismatic movement.
It is a highlyfancied phrase which denotes that the person so referred has become a spiritual authority of some sort and has moved closer to God in the spiritual realm.
People sometimes even `manifest` demons merely by seeing the individuals perceived to be men of God. There is some envisaged reverence to the title.
The expression has become synonymous with religious leaders who act with spiritual authority and impunity, threatening congregants with curses and claiming to carry God`s presence.
The expression ‘man of God’ (MoG) has been used to symbolize that one is a prophet, apostle or spokesperson for God in contemporary times.
The ‘man of God` phenomenon has seen people parting with things of immense value in the belief that by ‘seeding’ to the supposedly anointed `men of God` blessings would flow to them.
Expensive vehicles and properties have been lost in this way and the result has been the pouring of scorn on religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Perhaps, to give a better glimpse of the `men of God’, these people own expensive vehicles and, at times, own private jets.
They enjoy reverence that is close to worship from their followers. They command huge followings and can even fill up whole stadiums.
They also boast an expensive dress code with expensive suits flaunted pompously while deriding the poor in their sermons.
They openly mock the poor. It would appear that by coining the phrase, ‘man of God,’ these men have given themselves an air of `untouchability`; that they cannot be questioned or brought to account because they represent God.
Resultantly, the world today has seen destructive, foul, disgusting doctrines going unquestioned because people have been taught to fear and sheepishly submit to the ‘man of God.’
In extreme circumstances women have been sexually abused and those who dared question have been threatened with curses.
In the Robert Martin Gumbura case, it emerged that his followers had literally handed over their welfare to him since the man was known to “place people in the devil’s hands”.
The title has become a ticket to strike fear in the hearts of people and an instrument for wanton abuses by some members of the clergy. Who is a man of God? This term presents a serious challenge in modern times.
Indeed, those who benefit from it would not be happy with the subject being dissected. Contrary to the widespread abuse of the term, according to the Bible everyone born of God; everyone who accepts the Lord Jesus Christ at baptism becomes a child of God.
At baptism each person receives the Holy Spirit to become a child of God. There is no child of God who is superior to the other; neither is there a better version of a true child of God.
The ‘man of God’ fallacy was carefully coined by leaders bent on striking fear in the hearts of the laity to the effect that their actions and behaviours are not brought to scrutiny because they assume some sacredness by purportedly standing in for God. Why this term is a misnomer?
This term is a misnomer of a gargantuan scope as it seeks to give mere mortals spiritual superiority over other mortals.
It connotes the idea that some souls are closer to the Almighty God than others. It seeks to take away accountability because, oftentimes, when people brand themselves ‘men of God’ they assume that they are only accountable to God and that their actions should not be tested in view of the Word.
It is the same with the popular myth of spiritual fathers today. Jesus Christ, in the same vein, slammed these titles, “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.
And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven…For those who humble themselves will be exalted (Matt 23:89)
Every Christian who has received Jesus Christ to be his Savior receives the Holy Spirit and therefore qualifies to be called a child of God, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free…”
According to Romans 8:9, a person that does not have the Holy Spirit cannot belong to Christ.
The Holy Spirit is the seal of salvation for believers. Every Christian is therefore a child of God or “man or woman of God.”
It is not the preserve of a few individuals who claim better association and understanding of God.