A fraternity is an organization of men who work together for a common purpose. Usually, they commit to each other as a support group and often live together in a dormitory or a close set of buildings. Likewise, a sorority is a corresponding organization of females. Fraternities and sororities often require a pledge and ceremony for entrance. They sometimes have rituals, oaths, and traditions in which a new member must participate. Because of these elements, the bonds within these organizations often last for a lifetime.
So, can Christians be involved with fraternities and sororities? The answer is yes and no. It depends on what the sorority and fraternity require for entrance and participation.
Christians cannot join fraternities and sororities if…
A Christian cannot join a fraternity or sorority if some rituals or oaths violate Scripture. Since different groups have different requirements, we cannot tell you that all fraternities and sororities are equally good or bad. It’s up to you to exercise judgment. In my opinion, it is okay for a Christian to join a secular fraternity or sorority as long as they don’t require or encourage sinful behavior, secret oaths, or secret rituals. The Bible cautions us about some things done in secret. Of course, we are not to be hypocritical in our public prayers and giving in order to seek recognition. Keep those things private. But, Scripture teaches us to be forthright, open, cautious, and to take our oaths seriously.
Num. 30:2, “If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or takes an oath to bind himself with a binding obligation, he shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
Matt. 5:37, “But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”
Phil. 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
James 5:12, “But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.”
Are there Christian fraternities and sororities?
There are Christian fraternities and sororities. As long as they don’t participate in unbiblical things, I see no reason why a Christian could not join them. We must remember that our loyalty is to God first and organizations afterward. Joining any fraternity or sorority in school must be for the ultimate goal of glorifying God. In other words, our ultimate goal as Christians is to live for Jesus.
Questions to ask about fraternities and sororities
What does the fraternity/sorority require for participation?
What kind of commitments do they want?
Do they require any oaths or rituals?
What are your motives for joining a fraternity or sorority?
Is there anything that the organization promotes that blatantly violates scripture?
Do they support members of the opposite sex sleeping with people to whom they are not married?
Do they require getting drunk, swearing allegiance, bowing before an image as part of a pledge, etc?
These questions are important because joining a sorority or fraternity is a big commitment. But the point is that we need to pursue godliness.
Basically, if a fraternity or sorority requires a pledge of some sort and participation in events, etc., and nothing much more than that, then I don’t see any problem with joining one. However, if they require the members to participate in drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, swearing secret oaths of loyalty to the group, drug use, etc., that would be a problem.
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