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 (Manna 55: What Really Matters)
A Christian Perspective on Greek Organizations Part II
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A Christian Perspective on Greek Organizations Part II

Kayla

            In the last issue, a brother recounted the spiritual consequences of his decision to join a fraternity during college. Now a sister shares her experience and perspective.

Why did you want to join a Greek organization?

I’m sure I am not the only person who feels I have lived a somewhat sheltered life. Coming from a conservative family, I felt I never had the chance to properly explore what the world had to offer the way my school friends did. Joining a sorority was an outlet to express the side of me that I thought had been “trapped” for the past 18 years.

Everything changed when I was accepted to a major university. An abundance of freedom was placed into my hands. No parents, no rules, no curfew!

At the time, I had just adopted my newfound faith in Christianity after receiving the Holy Spirit at the True Jesus Church. I had been baptized for one year when I started university. Not knowing how my world was about to change, I met a couple of nice sorority sisters during welcome week who invited me to attend an orientation session. At a school with a large student population, I wanted to start meeting people. The extremely friendly sorority sisters successfully persuaded me to participate in rush.

What was rush like for you?

I attended a “ladies night out” event at a hotel. After a nice dinner, there was a party for all the girls rushing the sorority. I felt a little apprehensive about joining the event but decided to give in since I enjoyed dancing. Without realizing what I had gotten myself into, I started down the path of becoming a “sorority sister” that night.

I was not comfortable with the fraternity brothers who were invited and felt as though the sorority was very much geared towards drinking, partying, and boys. I also saw something quite disturbing: a few rushees were subjected to uninvited groping by some of the fraternity boys while dancing with them. After expressing my concern to a few of the sorority sisters, they assured me that this was not normal and that partying was only one aspect of the sorority among many other great things such as sisterhood and everlasting friendship.

I got a little closer to a few of the sorority sisters that night. They were all so well put together and seemed so confident and successful. Before I knew it, I was filling out an application to join the pledgeship program.

What happened during your pledgeship?

In the beginning, I enjoyed it. There was a continuous stream of fun events during which they showered me with gifts and love. I became more social and made a few friends. Then after about two weeks, the reality of sorority life began to show itself. With the fun came excessive drinking, partying, and meeting boys. I soon realized that this was the “networking” the sisters who recruited me were talking about.

I clearly remember nights when I would willingly take shots of hard liquor to represent my pledge class and to demonstrate how capable I was of holding down my liquor. Even the way I dressed completely changed. All of this new behavior meant changing my values and beliefs in order to belong to this new world that I was now a part of. I feel that for those three years, I gave up God for the world (Jas 4:4).

Week after week, there were endless “exchanges” (parties) with other Greek organizations in the surrounding areas. These “exchanges” soon became monotonous while negatively affecting my schoolwork. Because the sorority consumed so much of my time, I was forced to make my studies a secondary priority.

These parties were also on Friday nights. Being newly baptized, I did not realize the importance of Sabbath evening worship service. I often came home at 2 a.m. in the morning and woke up around noon. In addition to Friday night “exchanges,” almost every Saturday there would be some sort of community service work or another social outing.

I explained that I needed to attend church on Saturdays. They told me that they understood but still made me feel guilty about missing sorority events. I was told that if I was not there, it would negatively affect my pledgemates.

I was lucky if I made it to Sabbath morning service even once a month. When I did have the opportunity to make it to Sabbath, I felt uneasy because I knew in my heart that I was living two separate lives. Six days a week, I lived in a world of darkness. One day of the week, I struggled to hold onto my faith. At this point, the cycle seemed endless and my spiritual well-being already lost. It was hard to have the heart to serve God with a sorority pulling you the opposite direction.

What effect did the sorority have on your spiritual life?

When you’re in a Greek organization, you undergo tremendous pressure to adapt yourself to your environment. You choose to engage yourself in a fierce spiritual battle, effectively jeopardizing your spiritual life. When you join a Greek organization, temptation lurks around you 24/7. You will often be in an environment filled with raucous music, foul language, and unedifying activities of this world.

Sin does not occur randomly. James 1:14, 15 tells us that,

            each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; when it is full-grown, brings forth to death.

The bottom line is, no matter how strong our spirituality is to begin with, the social environment we place ourselves in will have a direct effect on our values and our spirituality.

We first place ourselves in the situation, and then we come to accept those around us and their actions. After that, we are slowly enticed by our own desires to participate and explore. No matter how we look at it, when we are surrounded by evil, sin will be born.

I once heard a story about how to kill a frog. Rather than placing the frog in boiling water, place the frog in a container of cool water. The frog will be happy in its new and different environment. As the water becomes warmer and the frog adapts to the temperature, it loses its sensitivity to the rising heat. Before the frog knows it, the water boils and it is too late to jump out.

In the same way, the warm water of a sorority or fraternity becomes a part of your life and you reach a boiling point where you can no longer distinguish what’s right and wrong in the eyes of God. This is the same situation that I faced, but because of God’s mercy and guidance, I was able to leave this lifestyle before sin led to death.

What finally made you decide to leave the sorority?

The thought of leaving the pledge program crossed my mind several times. However, leaving is actually very hard. First, the pressure to stick it through comes from your pledgemates, who want you to continue the program with them. Second, there is pressure from the active members. Third, I was curious whether it would be as great of an experience as they promised. Lastly, even though I knew I was not on the right path in terms of achieving my ultimate goal of salvation, I led myself to believe that it was only for a year. Next year, I could strive to be “holy” again and try to make it up to God for how I behaved this past year. This attitude is not pleasing to God, as recorded in James 4:13-17:

            Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

I figured that things would be different after I crossed and that the expectations to attend meetings and events would end. But it didn’t. In a sorority, you spend all day planning for social events and going to parties. I was starting to see that these events were a complete waste of time and took me back to a world without purpose and meaning.

After crossing, the events continued and the following years held the same commitment level, if not more. Now, I was expected to take care of a pledge family of my own. I had absolutely no time for my family, friends outside of the sorority, and especially God. I left during my third year because it was clear to me that my sorority had nothing to offer me but a life full of sin.  

CONCLUSION

I know that joining a sorority was not the right choice, and I thank God that I can share my experiences today with those who are curious about joining a Greek organization. Most people join a Greek organization thinking that they will be in control of what they want or do not want to do. They believe that they will be affected only if they allow themselves to be. However, I would discourage any sister from joining a sorority because when you do, you become someone else. You compromise your identity whether you intend to or not.

In the end, I can only wholeheartedly and humbly thank God for pulling me away from the darkness. For three years, I was not living a Christian life in the way I dressed, acted, and supported unedifying activities. During that time, I was covered in sin and felt I could not face God.

Thank God that through my university’s campus fellowship, He slowly brought me back to His fold. By His grace, He arranged for caring brothers and sisters to nurture my spirituality during my last year in college. Having lived the sorority life allowed me to truly realize how empty my life would be without God and how much I need Him. Like the prodigal son, I did not realize how precious it was to be one of God’s children. We are each precious vessels of God whom He chose to be sanctified (1 Thess 4:4), and we should cherish our position.

May all the praise and glory be unto our Father in heaven.

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