There are drug dealers that provide financial stability to their families. There are doctors that provide medical attention to their family and friends (improper drug prescriptions, etc. - I think we have Michael Jackson's case to prove this one!). There are politicians who provide favors to their constituents at the price of a vote.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Editorial - Overseer Christopher J. Harris
WOW. I am always amazed at how much this question generates comments and thoughts when it is brought up. (This is going to be long. You'll need about 10-15 minutes to read…)
From my perspective, I wanted to provide a balanced answer to the question. I believe that there are so many imbalanced perspectives out there. And in so doing, also provide some insight into how we as disciples of Christ, Christians, can work to become more like Him. I will readily share with you that I don't believe I know everything that there is to know about all of the subjects (and accessory areas like spiritual warfare, Greek mythology, psychology, etc.) that arise regarding this subject. I don't think anyone does. As a matter of fact, many of the answers I'm still hunting for. I can only talk from my experiences and my growing understanding of God's word.
I want to also begin by saying that I am at a different place in terms of my spiritual maturity now than I was when I pledged a fraternity in college (If I were in the same place spiritually as I was then, I'd be in trouble. If you haven't grown over the years, you're in trouble too!) Anything connected to God grows and develops, and as such, all of us should be striving to grow in the knowledge and understanding of our Savior, Jesus Christ to the point that He becomes Lord of our life. There is a difference between Him being Savior and being Lord (another topic for another time).
I also want to say, contrary to many people that totally demonize fraternities and sororities or even individuals that denounce/renounce them, who say that there is nothing good about fraternities and sororities, while in college my fraternity helped me. It provided a professional context that allowed me to network, provide growth in areas that a formal education doesn't equip you for, and equipped me with some professional and social skills in which I still utilize today.
I believe it is important to understand the perspective by which a person writes an editorial-like this one. When you read something, you should know the lens of which the author has. It provides greater insight into the motive and mission of their writing. If you read Glenn Beck and you want to know why he's writing the way that he rights, and then research his apparent motive. If you read Roland Martin, you should also try to understand his motive for the writing. I say that so that you can get an idea of my motive for writing. I have read many people who write about this topic and they internally are bitter because in their past they wanted to pledge and was not granted "access". Others were initiated and then turned bitter towards their experience and/or towards their "brothers and sisters". While yet others operate in ignorance and make sweeping generalizations with innuendos and fear tactics, not based in love, that does not help anyone. None of this is my story.
I am not a bitter person who did not get into a fraternity or sorority. As a matter of fact, by most peoples' thoughts, I was probably on a fast track to being a highly visible leader in the organization. I had accomplished a lot of what could be accomplished in the organization on the undergraduate level, represented my chapter well, and had a professionally satisfying undergraduate experience. I also want to say here that I never had any "brother" to mistreat me or do any great 'injustice' to me intentionally. To the contrary, many of them enhanced my understanding of friendship and how to relate to people from different places, with different backgrounds, and different views (Whew…did most of us have different views…). Many of the individuals that I met as a result of my membership, I am still friends with today. As well, many of the members in other organizations, I am still friends with today.
My initial motive for joining the fraternity was never about the females, nor the partying, nor even just the social life. I was a freshman when I was initiated and was too new to the college scene to even be aware of these social implications. I believe my professional pursuit of "taking care of business" was part of my focus. So my motive for addressing this topic is that as a body of Christ, we may critically think about the totality of our lives and be in a place where we evaluate everything! In Acts 17, Paul revealed to the people that they were worshipping at the altar of an "unknown" God. I believe all of us ought to be so evaluative to our lives that we eliminate any "unknown" God altars, allegiances, or connections in our lives.
I know people that make sweeping generalizations about BGLOs (Black Greek Letter Organizations) and totally are inaccurate in their assessments. Admittedly, most of the examples people use to contextualize these organizations are sensationalized mixed with some elements of truth. There are realities of hazing in these organizations. Hazing should not be tolerated by the organization or hazee (not a word - I made it up…). I come to believe that hazing doesn't make one more loyal to the organization or the people in it. There are realities of these organizations being ready vehicles by which alternative lifestyles, risky sexual behavior, and outright sexual escapades are promoted (all of which fall under the umbrella of the spirit of lust). There are realities of partying, drinking, smoking, and swearing. These realities do not mean ALL members are guilty of these things. BUT - every member of the organization must be aware of the realities and the fact that it is easy to become associated with certain labels based on affiliation. This is why your momma told you when you were growing up be careful who you hung out with. Not only that, but it is true (based on scripture and experience) - birds of a feather, flock together.
These realities are the same as churches have some preachers not walking in integrity, some musicians not being honest about their sexuality, or some people only using the church as a business and/or social networking opportunity. These realities do not put every member in the church in it - but every member of a church must be aware of these realities so that we are not "ignorant of satan's devices". Further, these realities impacting the church do not dilute the reality that the church was established by Jesus Christ and its power cannot be eliminated. The reputation can be tarnished, but the power cannot be eliminated. Oh my!
With this, I have found that whatever type of person you'll become, new opportunities only expose that. New opportunities don't change that. So - if a person is going to sleep around, new opportunities like fraternities or sororities only enhance that. If a person is going to drink and develop alcoholic tendencies, the fraternities/sororities only enhance that. Liars, rude and nasty, the list goes on and on. That's why some people that win the lottery are broke within five (5) years, because the money only revealed their lack of good stewardship and management credentials. That's why we see athletics buckle under the pressure of the notoriety and recognition, that even though they are a household name in the US, making millions of dollars, inking major endorsement deals to utilize their face, likeness, and name - they still struggle privately. Those private struggles then become public, and we then see that million dollar image on the news because of a scandal, indiscretion, 'lapse of judgment', bad relationship, broken marriage, moment of rage and emotional instability, cycle of destructive habits, slavery to life controlling substances, and so on. These things don't get eliminated with new opportunities. The real you gets exposed.
My college experience was not exempt from mistakes, misjudgments, or regrets (I think all of us can identify with that). I was in a fraternity, but never attained the reputation of being a player, lover, or Casanova. I don't think I ever pursued that. My wife shares that her respect for me increased while in college because I never played the "player card" or any games - when I had ample opportunity to. I consistently maintained positive relationships with those that I came in contact with inside the chapter and outside. I never gained the reputation of being a loose cannon or drunk. I never fought members in other organizations over turf wars or representin' my brothers. Yes, there were things that I did in college that I was not proud of, but I state those previous things because many times I've heard people generalize fraternity and sorority members into those categories. And while this is a reality for some, it is not a reality for all. This is no more a reality than the generalizations that some unchurched make about individuals in ministry being hypocrites or preachers being womanizers and money-hungry. Yes, there are some. But not all. So much of the behavior associated with fraternities and sororities was never my initial desire.
I never really was on the "in" crowd. Insofar that, although I was a member of the greek community, there was something different about my walk - my character. Not my personality - but my character. I heard it all the time. I saw the fruit of it all the time. I had conversations with people all of the time about this. (Sidebar: People will recognize the anointing on your life many times before you come to grips with it!) I knew that and others knew that. That's just like life. Any of us can take our high school experience and people that we know from high school who although were our same age and involved in some of the same activities, knew there was something 'different' about them. That was me.
I realize that there are different audiences that will read this with some sort of already predetermined viewpoint. There will be some that can read this with an open mind. But many will either be a member of a greek-letter organization, a non-member of a greek letter organization, a radical Christian who is automatically sending everyone to hell if they haven't met their standard of right, a radical 'brother/sister' who would challenge anyone on the credibility of their organization as eternally good, and then those that could care less, but are curious about the land of the unknown.
The authenticity by which I speak on this subject is that I pledged a BGLO as a freshmen in college. So I had the unique opportunity of being very active in this organization for four years. This literally means that all of my college experience, minus a few months, I was clearly identified with a fraternity.
I also am not on a mission to neither totally advocate their existence nor demonize them as being the anti-Christ as some attempt to do. This will be totally editorial and commentary on my take on Christians being in greek-letter organizations. I'm sure that this commentary will upset some on both sides of the issue and may/may not invite others to question my credibility as a ministry leader and leader of a major movement in the kingdom. It also may/may not invite others to call me a sell-out and say that I am attempting to dismiss my college experience.
All of these extremes are realities that I've already dealt with and understand. Those lop-sided views no longer cause me to hesitate to produce the truth about where we as believers in Jesus Christ ought to be.
I also understand that much of the literature regarding this question is lopsided on multiple fronts. I have found that most people that are violently (either through action or word) opposed on either side have some sort of vendetta for or against Christians, or against fraternities/sororities, and/or individual people. They literally take God's work personal - which is dangerous. Jim Jones and Ted Bundy took "god's work" personal as well. Their hidden agendas become clear in face-to-face conversations as they reveal their hurt, bitterness from being hurt by the church, or dismissed or never allowed to join a BGLO, being hazed and never crossed, don't like religious institutions for a number of reasons, or had never interactions from people that have been in the church or been in BGLOs, etc. All of these EXTREME perspectives on both sides of this issue are detrimental to any and everyone. And more importantly, if a person is following Jesus Christ, they should allow LOVE, not condemnation, to direct their behavior. I am an advocate of not being lukewarm, either being hot or cold (Read Revelations 3), but I also understand that more is gained through love than attack, fear mongering, and critical condemnation (I've learned this through growth…).
Even if you're wrong and I know based on the word of God that you're wrong, I'm not going to make you feel like dirt and devalue you as a human in the process. That sort of immature behavior only exposes the reality that I have knowledge, but no wisdom (Amen somebody - I felt a preach right there!)
Point #1: The Starting Point
We all must begin by considering where we are in our spiritual walk with Jesus Christ. As I alluded to earlier in my writing, we don't want to worship anything at the altar of an unknown God.
Acts 17: 22-23 (KJV) - Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
Paul said I noticed your devotions and how your spent your time, and in that watching you - you are worshipping at an alter of an unknown God. The translation of this is that you take a "lukewarm" or casual approach about it. Much of what we know about idolatry is when we take an ignorant approach to something. We should gain an understanding of everything that we're doing, connected to, involved with, and pursuing.
I can't tell you (I'm sure you've got some stories too) the number of mistakes in life I made because I did not properly research the facts. One preacher says all the time, facts are your friends! This is true.
So, before I even deal with fraternities and sororities as an issue among Christians, I must first deal with the reality of having a vibrant, strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Most people use Christianity and the term Christian as a social construct that does not lead to life change and spiritual maturity. That's why we have 'Christians' who are simply comfortable with church attendance on Sunday without a loyal commitment to consistent Bible Study on Wednesdays and other days of the week in which in-depth study, learning, and growth takes place. This term 'Christians' is used even though some under this moniker still regularly consult with their horoscopes and feel compelled to reach out to palm-readers, consult psychics, read new age books for guidance, believe a line on a fortune cookie, replace their Bibles with self-help books as solid life advice, and spend more time talking to friends who are not mature, listening to television shows before consulting their Pastors, and demonizing the church for all of the wrong it's done without every committing to the church for the right that it stands for, implements, and enjoys. This is why we have 'Christians' wear crosses around their necks holding Heinekens or Coronas, cursing people out, and 'spitting truth' (of which does not line up with God's truth - His Word - The Bible).
I don't want individuals to ask anymore if they are Christians, but rather are you a disciple of Jesus Christ? A disciple is past the point of just the title to have moved to a lifetime, lifestyle commitment to the end that they are sold out in their walk with Christ. Not sold out to their religious institutions, not sold out to their denomination, not sold out to their regularly scheduled attendance, not even sold out to their title or 'social involvement' in ministry. Not sold out to other outside organizations, like BGLOs. Rather, they are sold out to the purpose, plan, and assignment of Jesus Christ. Are you a disciple? This becomes a major, if not the major question, centralizing this conversation. Not so much as whether or not Christians should pledge BGLOs, but whether or not you've sold out to following Jesus Christ or not and whether or not you have placed God first in your life.
Why should this be the first issue? I'm glad you asked. This is the central issue because even IF you are an advocate of joining a fraternity or sorority, as I mentioned earlier, new opportunities only reveal where you are, then when you become initiated, if you're already a lazy Christian with no prayer life, no study schedule, never fasting, never committing to evangelism, and not growing, then this will only be revealed when you get your letters, pin, and step in your gear.
The Word of God MUST be (and become) the basis by which everything in a disciples' life is established. There is no magic in being spiritually mature. This PROCESS (yes it is a process) MUST become the priority for your walk. And while you walk this process, you will learn to become more and more obedient to God's instructions, as such, we walk by faith and not by our mental, intellectual, or emotional realities. This process also involves some things that don't require a long time to adjust. Some things, many things become a made-up mind - a choice!
I hope this approach gives you pause to reflect on your current spiritual maturity. Many people that are "Christians" are spiritually anemic. Many are spiritually dehydrated. And many are spiritual midgets (Reference 1 Peter 2:2, Hebrews 5: 12-6:3; 1 Corinthians 3: 1-3; John 16: 12) and we as ministers have used this loyalty to greek life as the lynch pin to attack those that are not sold out to God as the pinpoint on the bull's eye, rather than telling the truth and telling people they are spiritual weak because they don't study the Word of God and that their loyalties were divided before they got initiated. We don't ever tell people that if they are going to ever become who they were born to be, the only way to do that is by total submission to Jesus Christ as Savior to the point that He becomes Lord! Period. Not some letters.
I'm tired of people playing church. Let's call it for what it is. This is for both initiates and non-initiates! It's time for us to be Kingdom, not religion.
Point 2: The Spiritual Context of Fraternities & Sororities
I have heard many people use the argument that your fraternity and sorority does not impact your spiritual life. This is absolutely false and hollow and most of all, misleading. EVERYTHING we do impacts our spiritual life. Everything! We are 100% spiritual beings and 100% physical beings and only God has provided the proper methods by which we are to operate properly in this world. We are spirit beings, who live in a body-flesh, and have a soul. We are three parts. Two of these parts directly connect to spiritual things. As spiritual beings, we are always on a pursuit to know more than what we know now. That's one of the reasons why Adam fell. He wanted to know what would happen if I do this, even though God told me not to.
To say that something is spiritual literally means that it has a spiritual connection that is beyond a physical limitation. Spiritual has its concern for that which is unseen and intangible, concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul. That is, it connects with what Ephesians says we, as Christians war with. That is, if it is spiritual it involves principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, and spiritual hosts in heavenly places.
In life, we have a multidimensional war as it relates to our Christian living. That is, the world, the devil, and the flesh. There is a conflict of sanctification which deals with being bombarded by doubts, temptations, evil thoughts, pride, lusts, materialism, and fears. This is just one element of our war.
So to say that being in an organization has nothing to do with God, our salvation, or spirituality is totally misguided and ignorant. Yes, it is foolish.
It is impossible to be involved in organizations that have secret codes, contexts, rituals, elements of religion, mythology, and psychology involved, along with mixes of history, anthropology, and civics and then attempt to dismiss it as non-spiritual. This is, well…foolish. Come on ya'll! How we spend our money is spiritual. Who we date is spiritual. Our closest friends (if we have any or not) is spiritual. Where we live has its spiritual implications. How we dress is spiritual. The music we listen to impacts the spiritual. The words we speak are spiritual. Everything that we are connected to is spiritual. There's no question about that. Even atheists and agnostics agree with that concept.
Point 3: The supernatural aspect of greek life
Many people have called fraternities/sororities the vehicle of new age, supernatural, witchcraft, demon-controlled, etc.
The problem with this is this - most people involved in their organizations so ignorantly follow the organization that they actually never delve into that level of spiritual warfare. The reality is that there is some 'exposure' through the initiation process that initiates have. But this exposure is no different than elementary school children watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Wizards of Waverly Place, or Christians watching horror movies. So --- in most cases, this exposure was already there - before the introduction of a fraternity or a sorority.
I say this because, if we're going to come clean, we've got totally purge everything. We're going to have to get rid of those old school Death and Murder Squad CDs, get rid of those gospel albums that don't line up with God's word, throw away those idol dolls and figurines in our homes, all of that incense and home accessories that connect us to our motherland that we really don't have a clue that we're connecting to, and the list goes on and on.
Here's my point - let's focus more on our total walk with Christ and not try to blame it on organizations that are no more than 100 years old that have become reduced to social groups whose political and economic impact is not what it used to be.
The supernatural is the supernatural. Being an initiate of a BGLO wasn't the ONE THING that I had to deal with as I've gotten mature. I had to sweep the house totally clean. But when a person only looks at one element and misses the root of the problem, we misdiagnose the cure.
If I like to drink and can't control myself and I party everyday, people can't blame that on a BGLO. We need to deal with the root of that problem. Who else in the family drinks? Who gave this person their first drink? What emotional, psychological, and spiritual issues abound that makes this person substitute God for their drink? These questions get to the ROOT of the problem.
Too many hyper-spiritual people misdiagnose an issue because it easily becomes a soapbox. I know ministries that believe you're going to hell if you don't wear a hat. This MANIPULATION (which is witchcraft) is no worse than speaking a curse over your life in an initiation. It's all bad!
It is true that most of the organizations have crest, emblems, organizational practices, songs, sayings, chants, prayers, materials (like altars and the like) and paraphernalia that promote worship of idol gods (i.e. Deltas symbol is Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, who was worshipped in ancient Greek and Roman societies and was viewed as the daughter of the god Jupiter)(Sphinxes were idol gods worshipped by Egyptians). On the other hand to all of this is the reality that much of the symbolism in these organizations, although connected historically to the organizations have become watered down and almost of no consequence to current members of the organizations. Most don't even get involved in it. And because many people are doing illegal intake processes, the real ritual and initiation processes that they undergo is so out of line with the true ritual that their revised ritual amounts to an open mic night of disconnected poetry with candles in someone's house or yard or in a building on campus. Thus, this watering down dismisses the meaning of the entire symbol and ritual itself. This is both good and bad. It's good because some of the mythology and exposure that could be taking place (and that Christians should not be involved in) in some BGLOs is not in reality taking place (that's why many people that become 'experts' at Greek organizations and have never even been to an intake meeting that post rituals and other new found 'information' online are totally misguided).
As well, many of the organizations include things like "seeing the light" and "obtaining truth" which are direct opposites to what scripture promotes.
The Bible lets us know that truth brings freedom and ignorance brings bondage. We realize that God's truth is not discovered primarily by the human brain but by the human heart as revealed by the Holy Spirit (1 cor. 2:10). Unfortunately in most cases with the fraternities and sororities it is very difficult to do most of, or all of, the appropriate research of the organization unless you've already "cross the burning sands." This reality makes it very hard for a person to really have all of the information one needs to make a wise choice.
I told you earlier that this was good and bad. It's bad because like any organization attempting to maintain its viability, it is important for that organization to ensure that everyone understands what it stands for, what it's connected to, what its organizational culture promotes and what symbols mean within that organization. Many BGLOs are dependent upon 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25 year olds to transmit information that is really beyond them and cannot be fully understood in the context of a college experience.
This is along the lines of a 17 year old being given an American made dashiki, singing the Negro National Anthem, and then being told that they are celebrating Black History Month and connecting with their ancestors. Well, not really. Those in the "Motherland" laugh at this!
Point 4: Divided loyalties
The Bible is clear "Where your heart is, there your treasure will be also." I don't know about anyone else, but I believe it is really difficult to be totally loyal to God's ministry for my life and totally loyal to a fraternity/sorority. At some point, something's got to give.
This is also true for non-greek groups, affiliations, associations, etc. I see parents that are more loyal to their children's pop warner league, cheerleading group, PTA, etc. than they are to their ministries. I see people who are more committed to picketing every social issue, campaigning for candidates, and getting petitions signs than committing to a 1-2 hour prayer session with a group of like-minded believers. I see people join bowling leagues, attend BINGO halls, and play the lottery undercover more than they express their love of Christ through their actions.
So I'm saying the litmus test for my loyalty is not just BGLOs, but everything in my life is evaluated. I don't spend more time on facebook, twitter, or myspace than I spend with my family or in God's Word. That would divide my loyalties - wouldn't it?
So again, I'm trying to show you that we must see the root of things for what it is.
The scripture says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me…"
So part of this question is - Is your fraternity and sorority in its proper context?
I am reminded of the Story of Elijah and the prophets of baal in 1 Kings 18. Part of Elijah's biggest problems with the prophets of baal was not that they worshipped baal. But that they tried to mix and match their religion. They wanted to worship the true and living God and worship baal at the same time. Elijah, God's prophet said - No way! I'm going to show you who's the true and living God!
So I've taken this mindset. With the realities of this world, the future direction of what we will encounter, and the eternity that all of us must prepare for - I've decided that I'll preach the cross of Jesus Christ than try to sell teenagers just on issues of Greek life. I'll leave that to someone else if that's what they want to do. It is only Jesus and the hope that he brings that will give us "life more abundantly" (John 10:10). Not ANY social organization or pursuit. We've got to stop singling out fraternities and sororities as the problem when many of us our education and jobs have become idols, while we forsake our children. We preachers and ministers have got to come to grips with reality that in many homes, the preachers/ministers kids don't even want to talk to us because we're loose cannons and have not perfected the close mouth, open ears method. Come on people!
Here are some real questions for you: Are you yet firm in your beliefs and do your behaviors totally match your beliefs? The Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God." Do you have proof of your discipleship? Not just your bank statements and church attendance, but spiritual growth, fruit bearing, and other discipleship making - your sold out living reality.
Point 5: Good In The Hood
Many have used the argument that these organizations do a lot of social good. This is true. But that does not automatically put these fraternities and sororities into the category of being Godly.
There are drug dealers that provide financial stability to their families. There are doctors that provide medical attention to their family and friends (improper drug prescriptions, etc. - I think we have Michael Jackson's case to prove this one!). There are politicians who provide favors to their constituents at the price of a vote.
There are things that are done with good results, but bad methods and vehicles.
It is impossible for the KKK to do community service on Saturdays and use that as the bragging point for its group to justify its other behaviors. Any of us that have been to college know about this reality of false advertising based on what we've seen in the college brochures that show us college life without showing us all of the other realities of college life. That's why colleges serve as bastions and hotbeds of sexually transmitted diseases, a pipeline for drugs, an unhealthy environment that promotes false religions, and many, many others social realities, like hazing, promoted sexual escapades, swearing, partying, etc.
So - we have to be honest when we want to throw out the social good that these organizations do. Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormon's are all about togetherness and outreach, but they all clearly and expressly deny the deity of Jesus Christ.
In reality - based on scripture - the organization called the church was instituted to minister to the social needs of those in our community and world in the first place.
When the devil: got people discrediting men and women of God in authority, got Deacons trying to tell Pastors what to do, got members ignoring their financial responsibility to be obedient in giving and generous in service, got ministers who are licensed one week and a Bishop the next, increasing the number of false prophets and teachers and ministry leaders who abuse their authority - and even though, these cases are in the minority in the total picture of the body of Christ - their bad acts have tarnished the reputation and image of the church - thus in some cases limiting its influence in our communities. So other social groups and organizations have had to step up and do the job that was originally supposed to be the churches. The church is supposed to be the American Red Cross, the Feed The Hungry, the United Way, the food pantries, homeless shelters, etc.
This is why people have made connections between gangs and fraternities/sororities. These groups provide "family" to some, social outreach to others, and means of survival for yet others. All of this was originally intended as the job for real families and the church. Nothing else.
If we can heal these two institutions - family and ministry - we can almost reduce the need for all of these other things. Where are the TRUE Good Samaritans?!?!?! (Ref: Luke 10: 30-37)
Point 6: The Christian principles argument
It's always funny to me when I hear people say that fraternities and sororities are based on Christian principles. This may be true. But an organization that is based on Christian principles is very different from a Christian organization. To be a member of a Christian organization means that you agree and submit to the Bible and to Jesus Christ. Being a social organization, based on Christian principles only means that Christians principles were used in designing some of the infrastructure of the organization, but does not mean that everyone that becomes a member subscribes to the principles of Christianity. This gets two very different responses.
Point 7: Renegade Blabbers
I have witnessed others who have denounced their organizations to also "put on blast" the rituals and practices of these organizations. That is, they have loosely released materials and documents that they received in confidence to others across multiple media mediums like the internet, books, and the like. The motive for these endeavors is not pure and only causes confusion and its basis is not love. In an effort to share your testimony, they actually cause animosity. This is one element that is unnecessary. At any point if a person denounces an organization, which does not automatically mean that you do what you can to demonize the organization or look to remove any credibility of the organization.
I know many may not like this, but to me this is also what people do in churches when they transition to other ministries or are a part of companies in which they take materials and information received in confidence and then break all sort of confidentiality agreements and consideration to destroy the image of a group, ministry, or business. I don't believe this should be the order of the day. Use wisdom!
Do I believe that if a person is active in a fraternity/sorority they are automatically doomed to hell? Absolutely not!
Do I believe that many that are active in their fraternities/sororities are not as committed to the kingdom of God or provide equivalent commitment? Absolutely!
What will I recommend to my children in regard to fraternities and sororities? I hope to provide my children with enough foundation, well-rounded experiences, insight, and solid relationship that if they do join a fraternity and sorority it will not be for any of those reasons. Their real family, needs, social outlet, and relationship with Jesus Christ will be such a positive element that they won't need to join to be accepted, affirmed, and/or embraced by strangers who want to call them brother or sisters. If they join, it will be for other reasons.
If we were in the early 1900s when rituals were initially created, where hazing was open and unlimited, with close associations with Masonry, Shriners, and the like - I would wholeheartedly say no. I'm not sure that this watered down Greek life format is enough for me to preach people into hell with. I think I'm going to focus more on getting others to a place of maturity as they are convicted in their walk with Christ to make him priority. All of the other rhetoric, I'll leave for others.
If you are a serious believer in Jesus Christ - and this poses a conflict to you - and some things that I have said don't rub you the right way or you think I'm wrong with - you can do a few things (see below). What's my point today? It is only the truth that will make us free. It is only the truth that will cause us to not walk around with things hanging over our head. And most importantly, it is only when we line up with the truth that we can allow Jesus Christ to become Lord of our lives.
1. Pray for understanding.
2. Pray for God to reveal His truth and ask him to disconnect you and us from any negative connections that may have been developed that should not be there.
3. Pray that all of us walk in the true freedom that God desires us to walk in.
4. Do your research, ask questions, and in all your getting - get understanding.
Thank you for listening (reading).