DISCLAIMER: Before I begin to write down this opinion, I just want everyone who reads this to know that I know a ton of people in frats and this isn’t them, but more against the system and the way many people view and take on fraternities. This view is from an outsider explaining outside experiences, so feel free to comment if anything I say is inaccurate.
When you go to college, I think one of the main things you think about is being involved in Greek Life. Whether you want to party hard (which a lot of people do) or become involved in serving on campus, or just wanting to meet new people, it definitely seems attractive from the get go. What dude doesn’t want to be able to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves? I think from personal experiences as an incoming freshman AND as a Christian, I definitely wanted to find a group I could get involved with that would not only be fun, but a group in which I could cultivate my Christian identity while feeling free to display my inadequacies and struggles within the group. To be brutally honest, in my experience, if this is what you are sincerely looking for, I do not think a fraternity, much less a Christian fraternity, is the right place for you. Often times, besides a few subtle differences, it’s hard to even distinguish the Christian fraternities from the non-Christian fraternities, and that’s kind of sad. Here are a few reasons why I think that they marriage between being a Christian and being in a fraternity fails:
AN OVERWHELMING SENSE OF EXCLUSIVITY
Look, I get that it is supposed to be a “brotherhood”, but I just don’t get the inherent exclusivity because of how cool you are, how much money you have, or how well liked you are by everyone else. If the whole purpose is too build a community of Christian men who live life together and hang out together, who’s to say one person is “better” than another to do that. We live in a broken world with all types of different people, and Christ didn’t choose to die on the cross just for the “cool kids”. He died for everyone on Earth. Heck, he was even homies with, the cheats, the thieves, the prostitutes, and basically ever other person alive that I’m sure wouldn’t make the cut for a frat. So why is it that this happens? I honestly would love to hear someones answer to this, because I just don’t know. If I had to guess, it is because they want their group to look “legitimate” and be able to get noticed by potential rushees on campus. After all, who wants to join a Greek group of weird guys that are absolutely crazy for Christ. (That’s weird, huh.)
FINDING IDENTITY IN THE WRONG THING
I know a ton of frat guys, and honestly this is the single most thing I think (most, not all) fraternity guys struggle with the most. Most people live by their frat and die by their frat. It’s one of, if not the most, important things in their college career (besides a girl or something, which I will touch on later) and without it, this person would feel lost. They find their spiritual, emotional, relational, physical identities in their fraternity. The emphasis on the frat often overshadows the Christian emphasis. As people of the world, it is easy to find identity in ourselves or groups instead of finding out identity in Christ. This I think is where Christian frats lack. They may promote building a relationship with God, but fail to see that many of its members are struggling with identity in Christ and finding their identity in the frat.
DON’T BE OF THE WORLD
I touched on this earlier, but what word do you think of when you hear the word “fraternity”? I bet if I asked 100 people on campus the unanimous answers would be “drink” and “party”. So what would people say if they heard “Christian fraternity”? My guess is the answers wouldn’t be too terribly different. I think it’s a fact that if you ride too close to the line between “of the world” and “of Christ” there comes to be a lot of gray area. Just as an example, I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing that Christian frats have “root beer keggers”… It is funny, but I think it still sends the wrong message. “Basically we are trying to be as close of a real frat while still maintaining our sense of morality.” Yeah to me that is kind of wrong. Jesus Christ, our ultimate example of how we should live, lived such a crazily different life than the norm, that he was crucified for it.
If Christian fraternities transformed this ideology of assimilating to the norm of college life, we’d see a heck of a lot of things go down differently. We see a group of guys that were unmistakably desiring to get to know the Lord better. We would see a group of guys transforming the way people see fraternities. And most of all we would see a group of guys that were at least attempting to see out a culture change on campus above and beyond donating a few bucks to a philanthropy or something.
Now I know that this post may seem like a huge jumble of words. I sincerely do not hate Christian frats, I just hate to see guys join Christian frats who then end up trying to be “cooler” than they were before, and totally ditching any faith they once has because they are under too much peer pressure or find themselves in the wrong things. If anyone has any rebuttal, if you think I am wrong in anyway, comment, shoot me a text, a tweet, a Facebook message, a DM on Insta, or a VM on Vine, and I will answer. Over all, I just don’t want to forget who we should find significant in our college career, Christ:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven. -Colossians 1:15-20