Pastor Blair from Fairview Baptist Church in Oklahoma joined Glenn on his show Wednesday along with David Barton to talk about what he called the "Nehemiah strategy" in dealing with the problems in our society.
The strategy starts with pastors and individuals making a difference in their own churches, beginning with the way they pray.
Watch the interview or read the transcript below.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
David: At Restoring Unity, we had folks from all over the country, including a lot of pastors. One of those pastors is Paul Blair from Fairview Baptist Church in Oklahoma, outside of Oklahoma City in Edmond. You guys—by the way, football season is starting. You may want to hold that after all your years in the NFL as you talk today.
Pastor Blair: I was a lineman. They never let me touch one of these.
Glenn: Last time we spoke, Hutch was with us. He’s gone. He was, man, just moving forward. Tell me what we can learn from you and your church or what you saw in Birmingham, what can we learn to change things?
Pastor Blair: Well, God has always raised up men of God to proclaim the truth in the culture and stand against unrighteousness. We see sin in Genesis 3. We see the lineage of Cain in Genesis 4. In Genesis 5, we see God raising up Enoch to proclaim truth in an ungodly generation and warn them of the actions of their ungodliness. Quite frankly, we can sometimes be so overwhelmed when you look at a country the size of the United States of America and the number of people we have, and you get to the point you go well, what can I do?
One of the things that I really enjoyed about this weekend is the emphasis of the Nehemiah strategy. Each pastor, in fact, each person can make a difference in their own church. Their church can make a difference in the community. You get enough churches working together in a community, you can transform a city. You get enough cities working together, you can transform a state. You get enough states working together, perhaps we can transform the country.
Glenn: I said this on radio today and I want you to hear me clearly, there is no other answer now. I have talked about this for 15 years, we’re passing all the exits. They’re all gone, the bridge is out. There’s no other answer, so now we all have to act as individuals and just be seen standing, if nothing else, be seen standing even if you’re all alone, not by anybody else but by God.
Pastor Blair: Well, one of the things that David has always pointed out is the biblical influence, the biblical worldview was incorporated by our Founding Fathers into our systems of government. We have gotten conned into the idea in the modern Christianity that living by faith is doing things the way I want to do them and then praying that God would rescue me out of the mess that I’ve made. That’s not what living by faith is. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. If we would actually apply the Scripture to the way we conduct ourselves, whether it be family, business, civil government, whatever, we’d see the results.
Glenn: I get a lot of people who write to me and say, yeah, Glenn, yeah, yeah, yeah, prayer, prayer, prayer, prayer, prayer. Prayer is not going to change things. No, it’s going to help, but it’s not going to change things. Action, living what we say we believe is going to change something.
Pastor Blair: I love the story of the Israelites. Shortly after they had come out of captivity in Egypt, they were attacked by the Amalekites. You see two battles taking place. You see Moses up on the mountaintop with Aaron and Hur helping him give his hands raised to heaven. As Moses is interceding in prayer, then you see Joshua and everybody else out in the valley literally engaging in the three-dimensional world that we live in. So, the battle must be fought in prayer first but then also in action. We’ve got to put shoe leather to our prayers.
David: And it goes back to the individual. We talked about the great awakening. A lot of the great awakening, most of the meetings were outside the church. There were some churches participated, but it’s individuals making the difference.
Glenn: From the very beginning, the churches, they fought all of this. They fought it in the first great awakening. They fought it at the second. It was the rebel pastors that dumped—a lot of the churches were preaching slavery was okay because it’s what the people wanted to hear. It was the rebel pastors that went out of the church, and it’s going to be that way again. We get too soft and cushy.
Pastor Blair: And when has the church not been controversial?
Pastor Blair: Well yeah, but always in the Scriptures, it was always controversial.
David: Yeah, when it does what it’s supposed to do, it will be controversial.
Pastor Blair: Accused of turning the world upside down, always want to be taught. Everywhere Paul went, he was chased out of the city.
Glenn: Right. Gandhi said I love you Christians. I love your Christianity, I don’t love you Christians. In your Bible, you have enough dynamite to blow up the entire world, and yet you don’t use it; you use it as a novel.
Pastor Blair: And that’s what pastors, all pastors—truth is true for all people in all times and all places. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a black pastor or a white pastor, whether you’re a country pastor or a city pastor, we have got to be boldly proclaiming the truth to our people and in our culture. Then we’ll see a transformation of society.
David: Yeah, and it’s the truth that is the unmoving thing, and right now we’ve got a lot of pastors deciding whether they want to jump off and get in truth because they won’t be liked if they say the truth, particularly right now. We’ve kept our mouths shut so long that now if you say the truth, you will get beat up.
Pastor Blair: But the reality is there should only be one commendation we’re looking for, and that’s a well-done, my good and faithful servant. We’re not supposed to get the Chamber of Commerce Pastor of the Year Award or MVP for the state chamber or whatever. We need to be bold enough to do what God has called us to do.
David: By the way, it’s not just pastors, individuals, the same way.
Glenn: Great to have you. Thank you so much. When we come back, one of the most memorable speeches from Restoring Unity was from a man who was instrumental in making it happen, in just a minute.