In a small southern town, in the middle of the Bible Belt, you would think a church would be welcome. Where, as the media claims, the citizens cling to their God, their guns and their Bible, you would think the free exercise of religion, as promised in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, would be a priority. Perhaps the majority of us do believe the free exercise of our religious beliefs is a priority, but it seems as though a few people on the City Council of Gaffney, SC do not.
In 2017, the city of Gaffney voted 3-2 to revise their zoning ordinances. Existing churches were unaffected. However, new churches, or moving existing churches was completely prohibited. This was not a prohibition on any non-profit or civic organization — just churches.
On February 11, 2019, the city council met with citizens and lawyers from the American Center for Law and Justice. After their meeting, city council has agreed to allow new churches to form within the city limits.
However, the city still imposes limits on the free exercise of religion. One example of this is the city’s prohibition on street preachers. To preach on a street corner in Gaffney, SC, you must obtain a permit through an appeal before the city council.
Friends, this is an assault on our Constitutional freedom. More importantly, this is evidence of the world’s hatred need for Christ.
John 15:18-19 (KJV) If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
When we, as Christians, face opposition such as this, we must remember that we are not pioneers. We are not the first to face such opposition. The world, and Satan, oppose us only because we are taking a stand for Jesus. So, when we face opposition, we must brace ourselves against the resistance and press on. The punishment bore for us is far greater than any opposition we face today.