This change of heart and mind started with a trip back to the yard with my line sisters for homecoming weekend in 2013*. Friday night, we attended a Greek Show. Afterward, I stood with them watching some fraternity guys do their dance. I watched one guy’s face morph from that of a perfectly normal human being to the exact imitation of a dog—tongue hanging out, neck twitching, panting. I thought, “Wow. That’s amazing how he just did that!”
Something in me said, “That’s not natural.”
But since I’m obviously not in a men’s fraternity, I brushed off the thought.
The next day, there was a meeting of the sorority sisters in the dance hall. There must have been about 150 or so of us in the room. Some of the women were yelling a chant that I never learned, and there was a line in the song about how we would show St. Peter our sorority pins and be admitted into heaven. Mind you, that’s not an official song of the sorority, but again, it gave me pause. It caused a restlessness in my spirit that I couldn’t shake.
So I began to ask Him questions: God, what do You think about sororities and fraternities? Did these organizations exist in biblical times? Would Jesus join a fraternity? Can I imagine Him throwing up the hand signs? What does the Bible say about what I pledged to 21 years ago?
That last question led me to do something that I had not done since…ever! I didn’t actually know what all I had pledged to because, as secret societies go, you can’t completely know what you’re pledging to until you’ve already pledged. You don’t get to read “the books” until you’re already in. It’s like signing a blank check based on the fact that so many other people you admire signed it blind, too.
To be honest, the night I “went over”, I put on my T-shirt, pranced around campus with my new sorority sisters, and rejoiced like crazy. When we finally received our sorority books, I didn’t actually sit down and read them. I put them on a shelf. Admired them. Smiled at them. The only time I pulled them out was when I had to go to a ceremony and read a portion of text. Otherwise, I didn’t read those books any more than I read every single page of my car insurance policy or my student loan papers. In fact, ALL of the sorority members who have sincerely asked me about my renouncement have admitted to me that they’ve NEVER read their books completely, either.
Truth be told: When I really started to think about it in 2013, I didn’t want to read the books. Not prayerfully. Not with my growing knowledge of the Scriptures. Not with the Holy Spirit’s magnifying glass handy. I didn’t want to find out anything that would cause me to lose connection with my line sisters, make me have to renounce, make me have to risk people thinking I’m “too deep” spiritually, or even cause people to stop reading my books if they found out I had renounced. And what was I supposed to do with all that paraphernalia?
Despite the fact that I didn’t want to re-examine what I had pledged to, there was no way I could quench those burning questions without reading “the books”. Even more, I had to question myself: Why am I resisting this? If it’s all good, there shouldn’t be a problem, right? Why am I trusting all these other admirable Christian women’s interpretations rather reading the books for myself?
So I did it. When I returned from my weekend at the yard, I read all three of my little books from cover to cover in one sitting for the very first time ever. The result: I no longer agreed with what I had pledged to.
As I read some of the passages from our intake process again, I remembered how (back in ’92) I’d had an uneasy feeling with some of the vows. I remember thinking, “This kind of sounds like a Scripture…but it’s…different.” Yet, I’d carried on. I wasn’t going to abort the process. Back then, I didn’t recognize the “uneasy feeling” as the Holy Spirit’s check. Secondly, I didn’t want the disgrace of having “dropped” the line. People at my small college would look at me crazy from that day forward. Last but not least, I sure wasn’t going to waste all the hard-earned money I had spent to pledge. No ma’am!
We were in one of the first lines to go through the membership intake process since strict new anti-hazing laws had been passed. We were pretty certain they weren’t going to hit us or make us drink ‘till we passed out or get with some guys we didn’t know. I figured, “If all we have to do is say some words, I’m in there!”
I didn’t understand the power of words.
Needless to say, after reading the books decades later and researching the disturbing history of secret societies, I could no longer remain a member of a Greek letter organization.
I was out.
I was content to leave quietly, like an uncontested divorce. But in recent months, I’ve heard the buzz from my younger cousins and nieces about pledging sororities and I’m cringing because I know what they are about to agree to. They can’t know because no one within the organization will inform them ahead of time. Like me, my sweet relatives probably see the strong women on campus exemplifying sisterhood, doing good things, and they want to be a part of it. They have no concept of how these organizations are inherently bound to Greek gods.
I can’t speak for every fraternity or sorority because, obviously, I haven’t read all their books. But I have Googled and found the official lyrics of the anthems of the “Divine Nine” (isn’t that something to be questioned right there?) and I can tell you that I wouldn’t advise any believer to sing or speak those words. This is why I am compelled to share what I know now.
Thank you so much for reading this post. I welcome any comments/questions. I pray that it will help you make an informed decision about joining, leaving, or staying in a Greek Letter Organization. Please know that I have shared this in Christ’s love and a deep concern for His body. He is Lord!
In my next post on this topic, I’ll share some of the most frequently asked questions from people who have wanted more information about this decision. I’ve been hit with some hard questions – everything from “Is it really that serious?” to “Why are you trying to break up the black community?” to “You think you’re holier than my Pastor, who is a proud member of…?” I’ll share my answers to those questions and more.
If you’d like to ask something, please feel free to comment, inbox, or email me! Be blessed!
*Note: While I was only privy to one sorority’s information, I think it’s important that every believer in any sorority/fraternity/secret society read their books entirely!