Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Does God Accept Common Law Marriage?

Sarah Hyland and Matt Prokop her live-in Boyfriend.
Dear Carolyn,
               Thank you for the question.  I will start by saying yes, and no! It is difficult to say no or to say yes as a one word answer. The duality of my answer is because what the West may call Common Law Marriage (CLM) is not the same thing most oriental societies call it; they accept them as lawful marriages. Notwithstanding, in my response, I will be able to establish a truism. It is essential to note that marriage is more than just sex; it is a covenant.  By the end of my answer, you will be able to know if God accepts CLM or not. Furthermore, the answer I will give you will be in regards to Western culture and not the oriental societies (which do not recognize CLM in the western sense).  Are couples married only when they have signed papers in court, or are they married when they live together as husband and wife? I will start by showing when a marriage fulfills the conditions of CLM, when it does not, and then look at the concept of marriage from the biblical point of view. The Christian must be subject to the law of the land that agrees with the word of God (Rom 13: 1-4).
First and foremost, CLM is a bad situation that turns good or bad because there cannot be CLM without cohabitation, and there cannot be cohabitation without fornication or adultery, and God does not approve any of them. But what about those who before getting married were already having sex without living together? Would their marriage be annulled because of their premarital sex? It is true that not everyone living together with a partner is legally married in a CLM. Why even keep yourself in that position of suspense anyway?
There is a difference between a live-In Boyfriend or Girlfriend and a CLM. The reason why marriages are falling apart nowadays is because of premarital sex. Premarital sex is cheating against God, and that sets the covenant on the wrong foundation. In addition, although most confess their sins, they do not forsake them to have mercy; consequently, they leave no room for the Holy Spirit to guide them in all truth and bring forth his fruit in their lives. The fruit is what makes the marriage lasts. It is now rare to see people getting married as virgins.  
Some people are merely living in cocubinage (what the Americans call shacking up) and not CLM because there are four requirements for a marriage to be considered a CLM in the USA. Both parties have to live together in some point in time, file joint taxes, have the same last name and hold themselves in the eyes of the world as husband and wife, without a marriage certificate.  Likewise, even if you fulfill the above mentioned conditions, you must reside in a state that recognizes CLM. If your relationship does not have all of the above, then you are living in concubinage.  That means; whatever culture we try to apply must correlate with the scripture for it to be morally normative. It is not sustainable to contend that because the culture nowadays accepts bestiality and other sexual aberrations, they are now godly behaviors.
I read someone argue that God will never bless anything that started in sin. That means if you acquired your riches before as a thief and repented, God will never bless you because you did not have a good foundation. The Bible shows it differently because if anyone must start with a good foundation for God to be with them, then God is not supposed to be with any of us, for we were conceived in iniquity (Is 51:5), and all of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom3:23). Isn’t this the same God who permits sunshine on both the evil and the good, sends rain on the just and unjust (Mt 5:45)? So when then is CLM acceptable.
Let us define marriage again just to set the stage for our discourse.  Marriage is a bond in blood (covenant) that is sexually administered. Marriage is not a contract; it is a covenant which God oversees. The major difference is that, in the contract, one person could withdraw if they do not like it anymore;whereas, for a covenant, the covenantee can only be free when his/her co-covenantee abandons or dies. In a concubinage or live in boyfriend or just boyfriend/girlfriend situation, the bond is contractual; meanwhile, in marriage it is covenantal. Therefore, I will find it difficult to argue against CLM considering that marriage is not necessarily when people obtain a marriage certificate but if they make a life commitment before one another in the presence of witnesses. In other words, living as husband and wife in front of the society and bearing the same  name is covenantal. The acknowledgement of the state does not matter much. By marrying in front of the state, you make the state the arbiter or and it is then that you can benefit from the state. A couple could make that commitment in front of their relatives. The only disadvantage at that time for not having the government involve is in terms of advantages that are given to legally married couples.
By the time prior to the approval of CLM, the couple if living together will be living in sin. After the approval, whether they obtain a marriage certificate or not, it is not sin. In other words, we do not need a marriage certificate to consider a relationship, marriage. Let me repeat again; you do not need a marriage certificate to be married. 
Before the advent of courts, societies created their customary government that approved marriages. Until the 19th century in Africa, people did not secure marriage certificates. Does that mean God did not see them married? They made their eternal vows and established the covenant by seeing the parents and paying the bride price before witnesses and that was good enough. Nevertheless, if currently they want to benefit from the state, they must obtain a marriage certificate. If any authority in the form of witnesses acknowledges them as husband and wife, then they are married.
            Secondly, not until the 19th Century, African marriages were celebrated only customarily. At times, the woman had to drink and give the glass to the man she chooses as her husband. Then she picks the bride price and gives to her parents. That is when they say they are married. They could be living together for centuries but without that public commitment and demonstration of the covenant in the presence of witnesses, they were concubines only, a sinful behavior too.
Cohabitation or concubinage and premarital sex are sinful behaviors. Therefore, for all the singles flocking our churches and still living with boyfriends and girlfriends, they are living in sin. If your CLM does not fulfill the above conditions (for those living in the West), and for those in oriental societies, it must demonstrate the covenant and procure the bride price for your CLM to be acceptable in the eyes of God.  Anything other than that, the individuals are living in sin and may miss heaven if Christ found them in that condition.

Until then, CLM is acceptable before God when it fulfills the lawful conditions of marriage. 

St Arrey of Ntenako

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Monday, January 30, 2012

When Is A Christian Considered Married?

Didier Drogba's Wedding. 
 "I gave the chicken to her parents, and we began living together. We do not have any marriage certificate.  The church says that I cannot get married to another woman because I am already married, so I left her and went to another town. Am I married?"
This lesson comes as result of a man who was accused of abandoning his wife. He claims that he was never married to the girl because even though he made the traditional marriage, the government does not recognize it.  He went through the marriage ceremony, he consummated the marriage, but he does not believe he is married.  Nowadays, it seems difficult or confusing to determine when to say a couple is really married. In some cultures, marriage is when uncles from the two families share a ceremonial chicken. In other cultures, it is when the two pretenders make their vows in front of a church or a councilor in the courthouse or mayor’s office. Some cultures consider mere engagements as marriage because there has been an exchange of vows in drinks or in food. That is because in these traditional societies, the customary alliance is an exchange of drinks and not a ring. In others, they are married once they have been living together in what is called Common Law Marriage (CLM). Others believe that if you have sex, you are married. The question now will be when are two people really married in God’s eyes? 
Some schools of thoughts hold that when you make a vow with the opposite sex in front of God, it is already marriage. At that moment you can start to have sex since God is the third cord needed to intertwine the marriage. So then, would that mean that if the relationship fails, the person could count that they have been divorced?  Does the marriage still count if you were tricked into a marriage without sex being involved after the wedding in court and church? Would a marriage that ensued from immaturity of one of the parties be grounds for severance, or would we even call that a marriage at all? If the newly wedded groom finds out that his father in law is practicing ancestral worship of necromancy and idols worship; things he was not privy too, would it be right for him to divorce? 
Let me start with those who believe that having sex is already marriage. Those who believe that having sex is already marriage back up their argument from Exo 22:16 “And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.” One thing we must state here is that it was a Jewish tradition, and traditions are subject to change. More so, no tradition is superior to another as there are many traditions all over the world. What may be standard in one culture may be an infraction in another.
According to the Jewish culture, if the groom does not come for the bride, then she should get a bill of divorcement that will enable her remarry. That means; theirs was not even based solely on living together but by commitment. Consequently, the commitment began from the day and time that the two shared drinks. This is the same tradition with most African societies. In most African traditional societies, the drink was the covenant. Still in oral tradition in Africa, within business circles, the word of mouth was enveloped in a covenant. There were no contracts or prenuptials, yet the people made lasting and happier marriages than the sham and shambles of 72 hours we witnessed between Kim Kardashian and Chris Humphries, reminiscent of modern day marriages!
Furthermore, the position will be untenable by simple syllogism since it would be total fallacy to believe that every woman who has slept with a man is married to that man. In other words; Ashton Kutcher should be considered married to Sara Leal? Or perhaps, we should say Chris Hansen is now married to Kristyn Caddell because they have been caught cheating. Precluding that because they had sex, they were married is biblically unfounded. That is why words like fornication and adultery are in the bible.
In African society, there are three steps for marriage to be authentic; the traditional (eating of chicken,) the legal (court) and the religious marriage (church). In most cases, without the legal ceremony (signing of marriage certificate), the church wouldn’t even bless them. Consequently, if the bride died at the level of the traditional wedding, the bridegroom is not entitled to the friend’s property. That too is a total miscarriage and implementation of the scripture because the villagers consider the marriage authentic at the level of their culture. In this very case, vox populi vox Dei!
The westerners or in societies which recognize common law marriage, some people believe that once two adults; male and female start to live together, it constitutes marriage. That is not true. Simply because you are living together in sin does not mean you are married. I mean even in the eyes of human law. For you to be considered married by CLM, you must file joined taxes, have one last name, and above all, hold yourselves as a married couple in the eyes of the community. When people know that you are merely living together no matter the length of time, and that you do not share the same last name, you cannot claim you are married. That is concubinage! 
However, there is a nuance or exception in this situation for Africans. Although they have no marriage certificate and do not bear the last name, but because they have been living together, have children and their families have exchanged wine and gifts as families in law, the two people are considered married before God. Even though the law of the land does not consider the couple married, they are married before God as the law of a land does not necessarily make an act biblically normative or nonstandard. Again in this case vox populi vox Dei!
While illicit sex is bad, it does not constitute marriage. Marriage is a bond in blood sexually administered. It is more than just sex; it is a covenant! Marriage is when the two people consciously pledge their lives before God in the presence of friends and family, or only in the presence of God and the angels to spend the rest of their lives together. That commitment is approved in the traditional circles (for traditionalists), in religious circles (church or whatever), and the court (government). Notwithstanding, there are government laws that are godless; therefore, null and void to a child of God. 
As a result, a couple is considered married if they sexually administer a bond in blood. Marriage has three aspects: a covenant, a covenant in love, and a covenant in love sexually administered. It is a covenant because it is a life and death commitment (Rom 7:1-4).  Every covenant must have an agreement, an oath, sacrifice, witness and a feast. For any marriage to take place, the two people must agree between themselves in love to become one flesh. They then take an oath before the family, state, council or the church stating that they are willing to sacrifice themselves for each other. They use their bodies as living sacrifices to fulfill the covenant. To take an oath, they do that in front of witnesses; relatives, friends, fiends and even strangers. Then after that, they celebrate in a light or sumptuous party.  The institution of marriage is sacred and meant for life!

Until then, be married and stay married until death parts you both.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

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“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Who Hardens People’s Hearts?

 A. In Exodus 7: 13; 9:12; 10:1, 20; Rom 9:18,  it says God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.
B. In Exodus 8:15 it says Pharaoh hardened his own heart.
C. In Exodus 7:22. The Magicians (people/Satan) hardened Pharaoh’s heart.

Acts 5:3 say “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” Satan tried for Jesus to worship him, but he failed (Mt 4: 10). He entered Judas and controlled Judas (Lk 22:3; Jn 13:3,27).

The root in filled /Pleraoo/ is a complete synonym to the word hardened /chazaq/ as both can mean to encourage, to take to the end, to sustain. Thus, both God and Satan can be the occasion for someone's heart to be hardened. However, this will make the bible contradictory as there will be no logic for God to harden someone’s heart and then judge them. So let me give you the explanation.

Despite Moses commanding hail (grains of ice falling from the clouds) by stretching his hand, bringing locusts and darkness over Egypt, dividing the red Sea, all these failed to convince Pharaoh that God was stronger.  Instead, he asked “who is the lord God of the Hebrews that I should obey him?’’ It is said in the bible that God hardened his heart.

I will divide these verses into two groups: passive and active voices. In Exodus 7: 13, the word hardened is used in passive voice. The hardened is in active voice. Thus  /kabe/  means heavy, pejorative sense means severe, difficult, stupid.

In Exodus 8: 15; 10: 1, “hardened” /kabad/ or /kabed/,means to burden, dull.

In Exodus 10:20; 7:22; 9:12 the word “hardened” means /chazag/ which is equivalent to fastened upon  or to courageously catch, cleave, or confirm.

While in Rom. 9: 18 and Acts 19: 4 the word “hardened” means /skleruho/ meaning to return, to give up, go back, to render stubborn.

From the above verses, we see that God doesn’t harden people’s hearts to judge them later. Instead, God’s message is simply the occasion for the individual to harden his/her heart. When Pharaoh or the individual has been refusing to obey, God now lets him/her in that condition. Each time he/she hears that it is from God, he/she turns off the earphones of his/her cassette? Same with the gospel;when preached to people, it is the condition of their hardening of hearts not God who hardens their hearts. Therefore, human beings harden their own hearts (Ps. 95:8; Heb 4:7).

Until then, do not harden your hear to the things of God.
St Arrey of Ntenako

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Iroko Sesekou Maurice Enoh Honors The Almighty’s Invitation.

A few days before Maurice went home, the angels were rejoicing. They said they have been sad for long because naked he came to earth and naked he will soon come back, worst still without his soul. Giving his life to Christ at the eve of his departure was the greatest achievement of his expedition.  Angels sounded their trumpets, cymbals and tambourines. Brethren, there was great joy in heaven when he arrived. Would angels dance when you too will be leaving this earth?   

As sesekou Maurice was preparing his trip, cancer came to help him take away the entire unnecessary luggage he carried here on earth and facilitated his flight for the sumptuous party with the Almighty. The things that he had acquired like wealth had rejected him so much so that he was now acquainted with their absence thereof. He was bruised, stricken and afflicted by cancer, but he spoke like one who knew where he was going to. His body was put down, but his spirit was not put out.  That is why he left his body here with us to attend God’s party.

While Sesekou Maurice Enoh was tormented with cancer, you fasted and spent sleepless nights for God to let him spend more time with you, but God almighty refused to hearken to your pleas. Therefore, if you are to cry, cry for yourselves and your children for the Iroko is in a better place. My friends, there he does no more worry to pay bills. He does no more spend sleepless nights just to put food on the table for himself and his family. All he can say now is that the kindness you extended to him and would have shown him, please take care of his wife and children. You all know he fought for peace; therefore, please you too strife to continue that legacy. 

Who could have believed that The Iroko will be invited by God that early?  He grew as a friendly and jovial person. He fought battles of unity and against evil. He fought the good fight of peace; consequently, God invited him home to spend time with Him. 

Oh my people, heaven is better than earth! The felicity in heaven is incontestable, therefore, whatever you do remember your day is coming. When you get invited, whose party will you attend: the Devil’s or God’s? The Iroko will adjure you to select the way of peace so that we will meet again. 

Until then, good night as he hopes to see us. 

God’s Messenger: St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hamilton Ayuk: Wrongful Arrest.

Hamilton Ayuk

Ladies and gentlemen,

It has come to my attention via the phone calls and postings in Cameroonian forums that my mugshot is on the internet. For those of you who felt betrayed and disappointed, I will plead with you to hold your fire. First and foremost, being arrested does not translate to guilt. In addition, even if convicted does not in all cases mean guilt still as we have seen many people wrongfully convicted.

For those who are quick to call around, write in forums and sing songs on how I have been arrested should know that I feel very disappointed that my name has been dragged in mud, but I attach no much value to their behavior as being dignified.

Notwithstanding, I was wrongfully arrested by the racist county of Cobb County and transferred to another racist county of Fulton county.  The warrant did not have my name on it. It was a bench warrant for




, BK, 12-FEB-1964, EYE: BR, HAIR: BK



Take for instance, the driving with no license could not apply to me because I have a valid Georgia license issued on 11/07/2006 which is to expire in 07/-/2016. I am not going to make a run around to get the picture removed . I know I cannot explain to everyone out there, but to those of you who read me, you should rest assured that it was a wrongful arrest. 

One thing you can be certain  about is that Cobb and Fulton Counties which arrested and detained me are racist counties. Cobb held me for Fulton because according to them I was wanted. How many days would it take to compare finger prints that they kept me for 4 days? It was just the normal schadenfreude to lock up another negro. America has a very big problem with racism; it is gangrene that needs to be healed.

Finally, the case was dismissed.

Until then, stay well.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk
“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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