Church Discipline

Open Your Bible

1 Corinthians 5:1-13, Proverbs 15:31-33, Galatians 6:1-10

Are you shocked when you read the latest news headlines? According to Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, we shouldn’t be surprised at all by the terrible acts of the world. After all, if a person is not anchored in Christ, why should they walk in the way of Christ? Why wouldn’t every action ultimately come from greed and selfish ambition?

Paul tells us there is a fundamental difference between Christians and the world. We are fully changed by Jesus, and therefore, we are measured with a different stick altogether. Everywhere you look, the world is going to cheat and deceive, but why not? If we do not know Christ and are not changed by Him, there is no reason not to cheat and steal if we can get away with it. But as Christians we claim the name of Christ, and He has changed our hearts. We have every reason to choose what is right, even when no one is looking. And not only do we have reason, we have a responsibility.

In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul takes on the topic of immorality with the Corinthian church, and he does not do so casually. Sin among members of the body of Christ affects the whole body of believers. “Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole batch of dough?” Paul asked, an undeniable urgency in his tone (1Corinthians 5:6). Though he was not with them in person, Paul was “present in spirit,” and he demanded his brothers and sisters act in a manner worthy of Christ’s sacrifice (v.3). He asked them to remember their new measuring stick: the gospel and grace of Jesus.

So what are we to do with those in the world who don’t know Jesus and who continually and exuberantly choose what is evil? Paul addresses this, too, explaining that it is God and God alone who judges (v.13). It’s such a relief that it’s not our job to busybody around and judge the world for doing exactly what the world is bent to do. God will judge. Instead of our judgment, God is calling us to give our energy to doing good and encourages us to not tire of doing that good (Galatians 6:9). We can share the gospel and we can do good, but there’s no need for us to hustle our judgment on the world—it’s not even our job.

And what about our brothers and sisters in the faith who do wrong? According to Scripture, reconciliation is the goal. Just look at these fiercely kind words from Galatians.

Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:1–2

Look out for each other! “As we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith” (v.10). Have zeal for doing what is right, restore your Christian brothers and sisters with patience, and do not grow weary in your work of doing good. The Lord transforms His children, and He makes them fit for the task.

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79 thoughts on "Church Discipline"

  1. Marilyn Jones says:

    I love that line Rebecca said we are to do good even when no body is watching. And it is our responsibility. I was so touched by that that I had to put it on Facebook. Yes I gave her the credit for it. Good is what we are to do at ALL times.

  2. Melissa C says:

    “Let him who has done this be removed from among you “ verse 2.
    Verse 3 states “you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord .
    Paul has already passed judgement on the Christian living in sin and the church also needed to.
    Read on to verse 9-12. Paul tells them to judge those inside the church and purge the evil person from among you!!
    Wow this was watered down . Totally twisting scripture here . Sorry She Reads Truth. You failed on today’s explanation of scripture.☹️

  3. Olga Morrison says:

    ❤️

  4. Chelsi Hamilton says:

    I believe it’s not our place to judge non-believes. After reading what Paul wrote he is firming telling the Corinth church to call out believers on sin.

    I think this goes with a lot of tact when done today. We have to be in community and have an established Christ – driven relationship with them.

    If my husband, mentors and sisters

  5. Claire Martin says:

    a constant reminder that it is not our job to judge God’s people!

  6. Claire B says:

    ♥️

  7. Kimberly Z says:

    Such a great reminder for me today. Look out for each other! I definitely am good at finding faults in people. Yet I need to remember Gods goodness for all of us. Praying for you all today.

  8. Karen Valente says:

    Every morning in my prayers I ask God for forgiveness for judging others. It is a sin that I am working on and have gotten much better with as I grow in Christ. This was a great devotional today. It hit a lot of good points for me.

    1. J M says:

      Karen, I also pray for this daily. Who am I to judge others? Really makes me reevaluate my choices!

  9. Kris says:

    This is such a struggle for a lot of churches – how to love the person but hate the sin. Age old problem. But just ignoring sin within the church body is obviously not to be tolerated. It really is important who we hang around, our reputations/witness can be tarnished by the “wrong” people. Guiding someone away from sin, leading them to redemption and restoration is what we’re called to do.

  10. Gwineth52 says:

    Hello Shes
    These words really hit home for me:
    “We can share the gospel and we can do good, but there’s no need for us to hustle our judgment on the world—it’s not even our job.”
    Being swift to judge.
    Calling other people out.
    Finding fault.
    Doing this among those who call themselves Christian, or not.
    It’s a problem.
    It’s a turn off.
    It’s the means of distance & separation.
    It’s the way of giving our faith & religion a bad image.
    One of intolerance that quickly turns to vilification.
    My hope, my wish, my prayer is for God to temper my words & actions to steer clear of proselytizing.
    Help me Lord to see my place & purpose & point me along the path You have prepared for me to go.
    Let me not overstep my bounds.
    Guard me from any sense of superiority.
    Teach me to be gentle of spirit & humble in all I undertake in Your kingdom here on earth.
    Make me wise. Make me whole.
    For His namesake.
    Amen & Amen

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Yes, that’s good! It is definitely a fine line, and seems even harder the closer you grow in your faith strangely. Refining I suppose. We are called to know the truth and say the truth, and align with the truth, but that doesn’t mean you can’t align with a person in love?! I want to copy your post to save!

    2. Tami says:

      I copied it! So good!

    3. Alisha Thorpe says:

      I really loved your post. I copied it. May this be my prayer too!

      Lord teach me to have a gentle spirit, walk humbly and to watch my mouth. Amen

  11. Maryssa Fritz says:

    I really really liked today’s reading and devotional along with it! It definitely challenged me seeing a different perspective than what I just read! Isn’t it beautiful that as Christians we claim the name of Christ! He is the victory!

  12. Traci Gendron says:

    All I can say is that these devos are so good! I see churches accepting what the Bible tells us is wrong. I’m shocked by that. People are seeing themselves as the more loving ones than Christians because we want to stay true to God’s commands and teachings. I tend to stay silent because I don’t have then energy to go up against them. It can be a rough encounter to say the least. It shows me that we need to stay strong in our believes. To be aware of the prowling wolf in sheep’s clothing.
    I’m rushing because I have somewhere to be. I hope this all made sense! Happy weekend ladies!

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Yes, for sure. That’s why I really liked the study my group did on “Put Your Warrior Boots On”..because as Christian we need to be prepared and not be silent! Standing on truth and love, but not sin! Did you get the book?

  13. Tami says:

    It doesn’t seem like the Corinthians were very different from us. The problems they struggled with are still here today, and often reflected in my own life. Pride, lack of humility, the need to be seen and praised. This has all been convicting to me. Even sharing with others the good things God is doing in my life can be prideful when I want to seem really connected to God and spiritual. Ouch! Lord please forgive me for my heart posture. Cleanse me Lord from all unrighteousness. Make me sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the pruning that needs to be done in my heart. In Jesus’s name. Amen. (Btw I’m dropping the “C”. So just Tami:)

    1. Rhonda J. says:

      Yes, right there with you!

  14. Caroline Bridges says:

    If you have the study book then today you get to reflect and answer these questions.

    1. What aspects of the Corinthian church surprised you? What parts of their lives were confusing or different?

    2. What teachings from this week’s reading challenged you as a member of the body of Christ?

    3. How would you like to practice those teachings in your own community this week?

    1. Cee Gee says:

      Wow, thanks, Caroline!

    2. Rhonda J. says:

      Those are good, thank you! The book would probably be a great study in my small group!

  15. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

    So many times in my Christian life I have heard the words, “It’s none of my business”, when speaking of someone in the church that is living in sin.
    According to these passages – it definitely is our business! Paul did not for a moment hesitate to call out the sin in the church.
    The Galatians passage instructs us how to approach a brother or sister who is “caught” in a sin. We are to do it gently. We are to use words of loving kindness and grace, with the whole purpose of restoration. We need to carefully guard our words. None of this can be accomplished without the power of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us…may our words always be filled with truth, love & grace and without judgement.

    Have a wonderful Friday sweet sisters, may each of us walk in His Spirit today! ❤️

    1. Laura Dianne says:

      Amen! I think too often, under the guise of “love,” we fail to call out sin.

    2. Mercy says:

      Amen, it definitely is our business.

      1. Rhonda J. says:

        Yes, amen! Thank you Sharon! It is such a foggy line to so many churches not to step on toes….that’s why we need to just stick to scripture and quit trying to keep our churches growing by entertaining, feel good messages!

  16. Laura Dianne says:

    Wow. I have a lot to say about these scriptures. I’ll try to be brief. This issue is very close to my heart in several ways. First, my husband repented of a sexual sin while he was leading a ministry. He repented and stepped down. It was the right thing to do. He basically put himself in “discipline” for years. He was so ashamed. He would not lead anything again for a long time, even though he is a natural leader. He was afraid, because through his repentance and the time reflecting and reading God’s Word and praying, he realized just how prideful he had become and that this was what led to his downfall. Eight years later, he is beginning to truly forgive himself and allowing God to use him again in ministry. Even with this repentant attitude, we have been rejected and disappointed by some of our fellow Christians who have not reconciled with him. We both lost many friends. It has been very hard on him, because I have been able to start over (even though I didn’t do anything wrong in the situation, as his wife, I was also outcasted). God has blessed me with a group of new friends and I feel loved and supported. He has struggled to find this same reconciliation. It makes my heart sad. I think it contributes to some of our issues as a couple as well.

    The other way this passage really hits me is with the Church and homosexuality. I copied this from HRT: Instead of confronting the man and calling him to repentance, the church was bragging about their tolerance.

    Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven, leavens the whole batch of dough?
    —1 Corinthians 5:6

    The issue is not the presence of sin in the church as much as it is the response to the sin. All Christians will struggle with sin and need grace until Jesus returns. This passage does not expect everyone in the church to be sinless; rather, it reminds Christians to not treat sin lightly. Boasting in the tolerance of sin is like telling the sick person their illness is a good thing. When that happens in a church, everyone is unhealthy.

    THIS. This is how I see so many churches today. Rainbow flags, gay marriages…I don’t even understand. It is SO dangerous and woe to these leaders when they get to eternity.

    I could go on, as you all know this is an issue that has touched me very closely. But I will stop there. Have a blessed day!

    1. Indiana Elaine says:

      Oh Laura Diane, our denomination has become tolerant of that sin. They have even allowed it in church leadership. Our local church withdrew from that denomination which in part has lead to our demise. We are not sorry for the stand that we took. The denomination has been shrinking ever since. My grandkids were in VBS this week and the memory verse was: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
      2 Timothy 3:16
      Are our churches allowing scripture to teach and correct our thinking??

      My prayers are with you and your family situation. ❤️

    2. Mercy says:

      I so agree! Thank you for speaking truth without compromising. Truth has become such unpopular opinions nowadays, despised, mocked at, but it’s the truth that has the power to set us free.

  17. Cee Gee says:

    I haven’t done my deep dive yet, but I have to comment on the Galatians verse in the devo. We just went through a big job and we were working with 3rd party who was going to give a rebate to us based on the overall bill. The vendor chosen was planning to pad his invoice so we would get a bigger kickback – his words: “to help y’all out”. We emphatically said, “No! We can’t go along with that.” He knows we are Christians so that was disturbing. I just had to share a ‘perfect example’. ❤

  18. Mari V, says:

    Happy FRIDAY sweet She’s! Yay! My favorite day of the week! When I read the title of our devo this morning, my thoughts went back to when our church had to actually practice this, TWICE in the 27 years that I’ve been at our church! It was HARD and painful! AND it was years ago! Time does heal! And I’m also comforted by today’s devo which was so lovingly written by Rebecca and so good for my heart, ears, and soul to read. Most of you know I work at a school. Its public. That alone should tell you what I have seen. BUT GOD!! Our GOD is so good! I “get-to” LOVE on these sweeties in hopes that their parents will one day (hopefully soon, rather then later) will see the LOVE of Christ and accept it! This devo also encouraged me that its not my job to correct them as they do know Christ, but it IS my job to LOVE and demonstrate Jesus! I hope and pray they do! I think of a VERY sweet, loving, student whose parents were VERY generous with me. They even gave me a card to congratulate my daughter who recently graduated from High School. (I must talk a lot about my kids) I hope they know its ALL Jesus and not me! I did talk a pastor a long time ago and he pretty much said what we read today. God is good!

  19. Caroline Bridges says:

    We need discipline in our lives or we won’t know the consequences to our actions.

    1. Mercy says:

      This and amen!

  20. Cheryl Blow says:

    These are tough scriptures to understand totally. I think but am not sure is the one individual was blatantly sinning without any of repentance. The other had sinned and repented. We should bear that person’s burden and help them and encourage them.

    I like how I’ve heard my pastor and others say, “it’s ok not to be ok, but not ok to stay that way. I hope this made sense.

  21. Maria Baer says:

    My comment isn’t about our Scripture today, but I wanted to celebrate with you, my dear sisters. Yesterday I celebrated my 9th yrs anniversary and I can’t believe how quickly time passed. I married an amazing man (after praying on it, not because I was unsure, but because there were some professional decisions in my life that would have to be made since we lived in different states). Marriage + fulltime stepmotherhood of 3 hasn’t always been easy, but I’d do it all over again because he is my person. He is not just a good husband and father, but he is faithful, patient, wise, a wonderful supporter and cheerleader. The one who puts up with my silly crazy-self. Knowing all the trial we’ve had over the past 9 yrs, I wouldn’t want to do life with anyone but him, and would do it all over again. I just wanted to share and request a prayer for health, happiness and prosperity, and continued strengthening of our marriage. Thank you sisters.

    1. Cheryl Blow says:

      Congratulations!

    2. Jerri Thompson says:

      Thank you for sharing such a beautiful love story!! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! PRAYERS!

    3. Cee Gee says:

      HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, MARIA and hubby! Thanks so much for allowing us to celebrate your inspirational marriage story! Refreshing! ❤

    4. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

      Happy Anniversary – and many, many more! Prayers for health, happiness, prosperity and continued strong marriage!+9

    5. GramsieSue says:

      So sweet!
      Happy Anniversary!
      ❤️

    6. Tami says:

      Happy anniversary and many more!

    7. Gwineth52 says:

      God is good! Abundant prayer & thanksgiving for you Maria, your husband & your entire household.

  22. Susan Joiner says:

    Thank you to those who have been praying for Wyatt. His mom had a few pictures on Facebook last night. His little head is bandaged up, but he looked so peaceful laying on his mom’s shoulder sleeping.
    They are still waiting on the pathology report. Please pray that it is benign.
    Again, thank you for praying.

    1. Cheryl Blow says:

      Praying

    2. Cee Gee says:

      Praying for little Wyatt and family and for an accurate and encouraging report! ❤

    3. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

      Continued prayers for Wyatt and for his mommy & daddy. ❤️

    4. GramsieSue says:

      Prayers for Wyatt and his family

    5. Mercy says:

      Praying for Wyatt and his sweet mama.

  23. Mia Faith says:

    Friends, I wanted to share that I had a deep, insightful conversation with one of my grandsons this past weekend. He is struggling with events that have occurred over the last year and a half. One is that he has to provide CPR to save his sister’s life after she tried to die by suicide. The other big one (many “smaller” traumas though) is the traumatic way we lost my husband, his “Bop!” He is saved, but struggles to understand why these things are happening. Please pray for more conversations like that with him, Eveyn, and my other grandson as well. God is good!!

    1. Lynne from Alabama says:

      Mia Faith—Your family is in my prayers every day. So much sadness for one family to endure! Please know you are loved and prayed for! God is holding you up, dear sister! ❤️

    2. Cheri says:

      Continuing to pray for you and your family as you walk through this very difficult season

    3. Maria Baer says:

      Oh Mia Faith, such hard conversations to have, but also, I am encouraged that he is talking about how he is feeling instead of internalizing that. I will pray that as these conversations continue, the spirit gives you the right words you need to bring comfort to your family.

    4. Cheryl Blow says:

      Praying for your family!

    5. Jerri Thompson says:

      Praying for you and your family!

    6. Laura Dianne says:

      Praying for your family, Mia Faith. How special that you could have this conversation with your grandson. He will treasure his relationship with you as he grows and you will be such a wonderful mentor to him as he matures in his faith. Modeling for those in our family what it looks like for a Christian to go through hard times is so important. Blessings to you.

    7. Sharon, Jersey Girl says:

      Praying for you and your family Mia. May God use these sad circumstances to continue opening the door for your conversation, and to move in your grandson’s heart. ❤️

    8. GramsieSue says:

      Such a lot of trauma for him to process. I’m so glad you were able to talk with him about it all.
      Hugs and prayers for you and your family

    9. Mercy says:

      I am praying for you and the grandchildren to have supernatural strength to overcome such heartbreaks. You are so strong, so loved and admired by many of us.

      1. Rhonda J. says:

        yes, amen

  24. Theresa Storie says:

    Thank you for your thoughts Kelly (NEO)!

  25. Jade Gaines says:

    In Psalm 15:32 where it says “he who ignores instructions despises himself yet he who listens to reproof gains intelligence” it illustrates how ignoring God’s instructions will lead to foolishness and destruction and death. God gives us these instructions so that we can live our life to the fullest without having to worry about the negative consequences of our actions and the future. God’s instructions are there to protect us from evil and to control ourselves in situations where we are weak in the flesh. He gives us wisdom and grace to live beyond what we’re supposed to be incapable of doing

    1. Gwineth52 says:

      Yes, Jade. It’s said the Law was not given to blame, shame, or indict us. But provide boundaries & guardrails & metaphysical fences for our safety & protection. Knowing they are there then becomes, counterintuitively, freeing. But not fail safe. Since we know as humans, and you said it, are prone to get it wrong & fall into sin.

  26. Aimee D-R says:

    Amen

  27. Julia C says:

    I must say I am a bit confused… Galatians’ focus on reconciliation seems opposite to 1 Corinthians 5, where immoral church members are to be removed? …in the hope they would repent and return? Any insights?

    On another note: maybe Proverbs gives more insight… “Anyone who ignores discipline despises himself (…)” The NET Study Bible notes say this: “To ‘despise oneself’ means to reject oneself as if there was little value. The one who ignores discipline is not interested in improving himself.” My husband told me his grandmother used to say to every person she saw smoking: oh, how little you love yourself!

    So maybe the lack of discipline from the Corinthian church, prevented the immoral church member from improving himself and acquire wisdom? And therefore, the lack of discipline obstructs reconciliation? But even then, I still don’t understand what Paul is saying in verse 5: “hand that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord”. Does he mean that by giving this church member over to his sin and the world, he repents? In other words: is removing him from church the discipline this member needs in order to be reconciled again?

    Sorry for the rambling… Praying the Lord fills me with His wisdom to understand this text.

    1. Karen Elizabeth says:

      Those in the church should always seek reconciliation when it is possible. I suspect the difference with 1 Corinthians 5 is that this man living (presumably sleeping with) his step mom is a huge, glaringly immoral lifestyle sin, one even those outside the church would view is wrong. I might be reading between the lines, but perhaps the man was told that what he was doing was wrong and refusing to repent and change. There comes a point when someone refusing to repent must be removed from the church. Otherwise, like yeast, sin becomes viewed as permissible.

    2. Shannon says:

      I had the exact same question written in my guide and my reflection questions. I also felt that they contradicted themselves and am still trying to wrestle with how the two go together. I am grateful you brought this to light and to know I am not the only one who felt confused by the two passages.

    3. Mercy says:

      I agree with you Julia. The scriptures are somewhat mixed up today, that the context of rebuke to Corinthians church, vs. Galatian church are not relatable here. I am bit confused as well . Corinthian church has complete different issues concerning sexual immorality (ince$t), abusing communal meal, eating food offered to idols, which Paul strongly rebuked. In the text today, he commanded them to purge/get rid of that person (not to reconcile): Expel the wicked person from among you (NIV), Purge the evil person from among you (ESV), Put away the wicked man from among yourselves (ASV), again, not to reconcile here, Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person, cast him out of your fellowship, and avoid his conversation. Let this person be given to Satan that his soul might be saved ( let their body be destroyed by consequences of their sexual sins/Satan that they might repent at the end of their rope). And then another group of audience is the Galatian church who was mostly Gentiles, also mixed with Jews, and they had different issues here, in understanding law and grace, confused of doing Jewish laws to be saved, “circumcised” to be saved ( o foolish Galatians, who have bewitched you? Salvation is by grace alone through faith, no other gospel through work). So these are 2 sets of audiences with complete different issues. The purging of evil was for Corinthian church. And the reconciliation was for Galatian church, bearing our load vs their burden, providing for marginalized Christians, supporting the teachers and so on. It is my understanding. Thank you for voicing your confusion since that gave me a chance to dig deeper. Would love to hear other she’s thoughts and opinions.

      1. Rachael McClellan says:

        I think the difference is the person is actively continuing in their sin. Despite being called out in their sin in Galatians it’s a person making a ‘mistake’ and you’re trying to correct them and keep them in the church through love. They’re saying to call out and remove the person until they are repentant of their continual sin. The Corinthians thought they were being ‘tolerant’. But tolerance of sin in a church is dangerous.

        The removal of a person is probably less of a punishment now. Because it’s easy to find a church that is tolerant of sin these days.

        1. Mercy says:

          You are right. The tolerance (which is implied acceptance) of sin is the pitfall here. Thanks for pointing that out.

      2. Lita Solis says:

        Vs 3 “so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
        I think it is important to both rebuke the wayward Christian and also reconcile with them so that they can be brought back in to relationship with believers, if/ when they repent. They can repent and God will forgive. If they have repented, do we not allow them back in the church? In Galatians, the “restore such a person with a gentle spirit” gives them a way back. I equate restore with reconcile. Reconciliation with Christ through repentance and reconciliation with the body of believers. Because ultimately Jesus called us to believe in Him and be unified. (Going back to Chapters one and two). So many, many contemporary church goers have been hurt by the church, and feel no way back. And it is all too easy to find a church that will condone sin, rather than encourage repentance. Does that make sense?

  28. Kelly (NEO) says:

    As the Body of Christ, we should spur one another on in righteous and holy living. Condoning and excusing unrighteousness among us does not do that. The Corinthians were “proud” of how accepting they were, how “loving” and, dare I say, “progressive” (hmmm…starting to sound familiar).
    .
    If in our “all are welcome” churches, none are changed and moving toward holiness, then we are just a social club. :-(
    .
    There is purpose for handing “that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” When choosing to continue in unrepentant sin, the person is working in the world’s system and falls back into God’s judgment. This will hopefully open their eyes to the awefulness of that system and in repentance return to the Father’s house for mercy.

    When a person submits to godly correction and is repentant for unrighteousness, then it should be our joy to restore that person and help carry the load of the fallout (consequences). For example, helping the person get into counseling or rehab, or helping in a job search or getting training for a job…you get the idea.
    .
    Gotta run. Prayers being lifted as I go.

    1. Julia C says:

      I saw this after I posted. So helpful, thank you Kelly! ❤️

    2. Karen Elizabeth says:

      Amen. You summarized my thoughts almost completely. ❤️

    3. Carol M says:

      Thanks, Kelly… This is such a difficult passage, and your words are well spoken. I
      have been drawn to the words of Micah 6:8, “Mankind, He has told each of you what is good, and what it is that the Lord requires of you : to act justly, love faithfulness, and walk humbly with your God.”
      The readings this week fit so perfectly with this verse… I am struck, once again, with the importance of humility.( which, I might add, has been a struggle for me) May I walk in your ways today, precious Savior… ♥️♥️

      Love to each of you, my SRT SISTERS… as we grow closer to each other, while seeking Him!! ♥️

    4. Allison Bentley says:

      Thanks for this social club comparison!

    5. Traci Gendron says:

      A social club! You are right. Thank you for wording it this way.

  29. Ramya Vinod says:

    Amen