Dr. Rob Reimer Loses His Way in Pathways to the King: A Review
Dr. Rob Reimer, pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance South Shore Community Church, adjunct professor at the Alliance Theological Seminary, and speaker at various conferences has authored a book: Pathways to the King: Living a Life of Spiritual Renewal and Power. To look inside is to learn how Reimer loses his way straying onto contemplative and kingdom now roads as he strives to experience, and expand God's kingdom on earth.
The Beginning: Reimer's Renewal Pathways:
Reimer relates the church desperately needs renewal, and in order to reach this goal we must pursue intimacy with Christ. To attain this goal there are eight pathways to the King from the first chapter's "Personalize Our Identity" to the final chapter's "Persist."
The Ending: Reimer's Back Cover Endorsees:
Endorsements are given by Dr. Ron Walborn (Dean of ATS); Seth Barnes (Head of Adventures in Missions); Bishop Carlton T. Brown (Pastor, Bethel Gospel Assembly); and Rev.Tom Flanders (District Supt., CMA, New England).
Reimer's "Soul as a Container Image:" (p.22)
Reimer asks the reader to picture one's soul as a container with walls that thicken through sufferings. If we process suffering well then we thicken the walls of our soul thus expanding our capacity to experience more of God. If the walls of our soul are thin then we can't sustain the presence of God, and it will blow out the walls of our soul. Curious! Scriptural? You be the judge.
Reimer's Spiritual Activities That Produce Kingdom Fruit:
Reimer suggests a number of activities to enable you to internalize truth about who God says you are- "from the pavement of your brain to the soil of your soul." Then practice them "until it comes!" (revelation, awareness of God's presence)
Practice "Lectio Divina:" (p.35)
To personalize our identity Reimer says to practice the ancient practice of divine reading, or lectio divina. However, he neglects to say where this practice originated, nor who practices it today. He doesn't make clear that lectio involves using meditative techniques akin to TM or Mindfulness. He doesn't warn people, who quiet themselves, get comfortable, focus on a mantra word/phrase, and who go into silence, that they are opening themselves to other spirits.
In his March 2, 2014 sermon, "Feeding Our Souls with Scripture" Reimer teaches his entire congregation how to do lectio divina using Psalm 23. Listen here:
For more information read this lectio resource: "Lectio Divina: What it Is-What it Is Not-And Should Christians Practice it? Find here: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=10887
Practice "Imaginative Meditation:" (p.36)
Reimer suggests using Jesuit Ignatian Imaginative Meditation where one visualizes oneself in the various scenes of a Bible story as another way to meditate. This meditative method, by the way, is much used by one of Reimer very favorite authors- Ruth Haley Barton. Reimer writes, "Feel it. Hear all the sounds; see all the sights; smell all the smells; picture right there in the scene. Soak in it."
Practice Pursuing "Intimacy with God:" (p.52-53)
Reimer reiterates over and over that God invites us to deep relationship --to intimacy with God. Reimer writes, ""The Bible says that we are in Christ, and Christ is in us. Paul uses these phrases...
This is what the ancients called 'Divine Union' It's intimacy with God." (Surely Paul was not one of "the ancients.") On p.70 Reimer even makes mention that the O.T. uses "the image of God as our lover, our husband, and we are his bride." The N.T. teaches, as well says Reimer, that Jesus is the bridegroom; and the church is the bride. Such references make one think of the NAR's "Bridal Paradigm."
Practice "Something New!" (p.52, 56)
Whatever you're doing to pursue God, Reimer suggests, that you "up the ante" as: "Get up early. Stay up late. Sacrifice sleep. Go on a fast. Take a retreat. Do something spiritually strenuous and sacrificial. Take a trip. ..." It seems as if Reimer, in his chasing of God, is running from one spiritual practice to another ever hoping to experience an even greater revelation. Reimer instructs, "Practice his presence. Go after it. He is calling us to a divine union."
Practice "Short Prayer Retreats:" (p.55)
Reimer encourages prayer done in "short prayer retreats" similar to what monks practice at a monastery. If your mind wanders while you're attempting this, Reimer says to use a common meditative technique of just bringing your mind back to God. Here again Reimer copies Catholic prayer rituals to further an unending pursuit of becoming more holy, and thus more ready as we partner with God to help bring his kingdom on earth as it is heaven.
Practice "Dream Interpretation:" (p.63-64)
Reimer had a reoccurring "sports bar dream"; he wrote the details in his journal. And he retells the dream in the book adding his interpretation. In this wild dream he meets a women who prays for him. Leaving the bar an enormous beast attacks; he fights back with a little sword. A panther attack ensues followed by his being back in the bar meeting "a prophetess." She tells him the N.O. Saints would win a Super Bowl; four years later they did as "God revealed." Reimer then relates, "The Lord told me difficult times were coming; but I would have a sign." And, he writes, this dream has kept me anchored until now. Very strange! I wondered after reading this dream if Reimer was familiar with "dreamwork" techniques that Thomas Moore and David G. Benner use in their soul care books as both authors are featured on his church resource page.
Practice "Listening for God's Voice:" (p.68)
Reimer states that, "The gift of the spirit is about a direct experience with God. We will hear God's voice--through dreams, visions, and prophecy-- and that will authenticate the presence of God and draw people to direct experiences with Him. This is for all God's people: men, women, and children."
Reimer's Blog Post: In a 2011 blog post: "God Speaks. Are You Listening?" Reimer lists six ways God speaks to us today. Number one was: "God speaks in an audible voice!"
Reimer's Sermon: In his March 23, 2014 sermon: "Feeding Our Souls" Reimer repeats the six ways we hear God emphasizing we can hear him audibly--yes, aloud--today! He even asks for a show of hands from his audience to who has heard God's audible voice! Hear the sermon here:
E. Benz's Blog Post: On the blog "Do Not Be Surprised" in "God Speaks but How?" Benz challenges Reimer. Benz begins with a Justin Peter quote, "If you want to hear God speak, read your Bible. If you want to hear God speak audibly, read your Bible out loud." Benz adds, "Yes, the Lord speaks today ... through the closed canon and written revelation of His Word." Benz also says that in spite of having the great word called the Bible congregations all over, do as Reimer does,and offer progressive revelation.
Benz also comments on Rob's 2011 blog noting that "The astute reader may notice something blaringly absent from this list (Reimer's six ways) ... he does not include that fact that God speaks through His Word!"
Read Benz' posts here: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/08/god-speaks-but-how.html
Practice "The Presence:" (p.54)
Reimer tells us to the key to intimacy with God is his presence. As an example Reimer holds up Monk Lawrence as someone who practiced the presence of God wherever he was. We too can become more sensitive to this presence as we grow in intimacy. To chase after that presence Reimer goes away to "the monastery" to draw close to Him.
Practice "Centering Prayer:" (p.56)
Reimer writes "old timers" used centering prayer. Talk about vague! Exactly who are these "old timers?" Certainly, no one in scripture, for such a practice as "centering prayer" is not even mentioned in our Bibles. Well, from all the references I've read, these "old timers" are the mystical
fathers and mothers of the desert as Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and many others.
Reimer speaks of the "old timers" as praying the "Jesus Prayer" as a mantra to take them into their silence. Reimer, as well, uses mantras in his meditation. He repeats phrases like "Come, Holy Spirit," or "Sweet Jesus" over and over to go into an altered state to find "divine union."
In a Lighthouse Trails mini booklet So You Want to Practice "GOOD" Contemplative Prayer (also called centering prayer, breath prayer, and Jesus' prayer) Lynn Lusby Pratt writes, "I found that contemplative prayer is neither contemplative (thinking deeply) nor prayer (talking to God). Instead, it involved a mantra ( a word or phrase repeated for ten to twenty minutes) as means for erasing thoughts." She emphasizes, "The repetition induces an altered state of consciousness in which the practitioner senses a 'Union with the Divine' having presumably contacted the God of choice."
Read more here:
Practice "Monastery Retreats:" (p.51,53, 55, 109, 152)
Reimer reminds us in his book that he finds it needful to run to a nearby monastery to practice meditation or "the silence." From what Reimer reveals in his "Pursuitcast Interview" with Sam the Seminarian, he returns frequently to "the monastery."
Where Is "The Monastery?"
And from what Rob has referenced in his past blogs "the monastery" he frequents is near to the Quabbin Reservoir. Now, a close monastery to this reservoir is in Petersham, Ma. Is this is the one that Rob goes to? His recent interview with Sam gives a clue. Rob relates that when he came to a place, while practicing the silence, where he felt so empty he went to a monk for help, and that monk was Father Robert.
From that information, it would seem that "the monastery" Reimer retreats to is run by "The Maronite Monks of Adoration" whose director is Rev. Robert Nortz. Their web site says this is a Catholic Community of contemplative monks dedicated to prayer and Eucharistic Adoration.
How sad that Reimer should use his money (p.51), and his time to support a monastery that practices idolatry each time they bow down to worship the monstrance wafer during their time of Eucharistic adoration. How sad Reimer is learning to pray as the monks do. How sad that Reimer would even be at a monastery at all with the blessings of its CMA president, and others.
Something truly is wrong with this picture. I pray CMA members might awaken and ask hard questions, and more than just ask questions some would arise, and take action. I fear, from all we have been finding out just in our small congregation, the average CMAer, unless they were former Catholics, know little about true Roman Catholic beliefs, and somehow have the mistaken notion that all Roman Catholics are our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Former Catholic Mike Gendron, a godly and gracious evangelist, would contend otherwise. He would beg you to become aware of how desperately Roman Catholics need the gospel, and that they are not one with us in Christ. Please obtain more information here:
Practice Reading: (p.107)
Reimer shares he enjoys reading classic Christian authors as George Muller, or Charles Finney. However, he neglects to inform the reader that along with these classics on his church resource page he mixes in many questionable, and heretical books by authors such as David G. Benner, Thomas Moore, Thomas Ashbrook, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning, Richard Foster, and the list goes on. Here's just one very troublesome recommendation--pagan Thomas Moore's book Dark Nights of the Soul with New Ager Marianne Williamson's front cover endorsement. (For further information about Moore please be sure to read my upcoming blog piece, "Beware! Get to the Heart of Soul Care" where I will document Moore's pagan practices of praying to Gaia and scrying to name two.)
Reimer's Relationship to Bethel's NAR Bill Johnson of Bethel Church, Redding, Ca.
Reimer and Bill Johnson: (p.94,129)
Reimer, apparently, has a high regard for the often heretical, and very controversial Bill Johnson. Reimer refers to Johnson in his book as well as uses terms from Johnson's books. Reimer features Johnson' book Strengthen Yourself in the Lord on his South Shore Community Church resource site. In addition, Reimer used the same book in an Empowering Women 2013 Course: "The Kingdom of God" to teach a college credit course to CMA women. And for his syllabus' biography he touts Thomas Ashbrook's Mansions of the Heart (about mystic Teresa of Avila) as a great book for spiritual intimacy which has inspired him to go places he had never been before!
Reimer in Redding:
Reimer is familiar with Johnson having been out to Redding more than one time, for conferences at the Risen King Community Church (Ron Walborn's former church) in Redding. This year Reimer, Walborn, and Risen King's pastor were joined by a "Spiritual Director" named Sarah Herring.
Who is Sarah Herring you may ask? Well, she's someone tied closely to Bill Johnson's Bethel Church's Tony Stoltzfus. She not only works with Tony at MetaFormation Institute, but she's contributed to a most disturbing book Questions for Jesus. Here's two examples: "Jesus, what do you like best about me?" and "Jesus, what's the first thing you want to do together when I join you in heaven?" Stoltzfus' coaching materials, also, are used by CMA's Ingrid Davis at the college, and elsewhere. See here http://risenking.org/KingdomPower/index.html and http://www.meta-formation.com/staff.html
Reimer & Kingdom Prayers: (p.114)
Reimer instructs, "Pray for Heaven to invade earth. (Title of Bill Johnson's book When Heaven Invades Earth) That's kingdom praying. When we pray with more of God's presence, and more of the favor of God on our lives, because we are pursuing more of God, then we'll see more of Heaven invade earth when we pray."
Reimer & Raising the Dead: (p.114)
Reimer refers to Matthew 10:7,8 where it says: "And as ye go preach saying, "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils..."
Regarding this verse, Reimer says, "But when is the last time you raised a dead person? Are you willing to say there is a gap in your soul between what Jesus taught and what you are experiencing?
According to Jesus, I should be raising dead people. I have a gap. ... I am willing to pay whatever price is necessary. That is kingdom praying. I want to close that gap, and I want to see Heaven invade earth."
Bill Johnson too, as you may be aware, also believes raising the dead is possible. In fact, they've practiced Grave Sucking" or "Grave Soaking" where someone lays on a grave of a revered saint to soak up that saint's anointing. http://youthapologeticstraining.com/grave-sucking/
Reimer's Recent Pursuitcast Interview:
Recently Reimer did an interview with ATS student, Sam, who gushes over Reimer with reverential tones. Reimer relates to Sam about his monastery visits, even says Sam should understand because Sam has been to the monastery with him.
During the interview Reimer spoke of Moses' "face to face" and "mouth to mouth" meeting with God. Reimer even declares Moses was a "mouth to mouth lover of God!" Shamed Moses hid his face, says Reimer, because he had an aversion toward God coupled with father wound issues. Find that in scripture!
Sam quizzes Reimer as to books he reads that promote intimacy. Reimer tells how he enjoys reading Christian classics. Sam, then, asks for additional recommendations. Reimer replies that Ruth Haley Barton books are "fabulous reads." (If you haven't read my older blog please do: "CMA's Rob Reimer Reads Ruth Haley Barton to Feed His Soul.")
Sam mentions, too, David Benner's book The Gift of Being Yourself and its meaningfulness to him. Benner's book, by the way, is also featured on Reimer's South Shore Church web site.
To end the interview Sam asks Reimer what he feels is something that he does that most promotes revival. Reimer answers that "the discipline of silence" which he practices at the monastery is the thing that most feeds his soul. As a matter of fact, Reimer shares, he has just come off a two day monastery retreat.
To hear the podcast go here:
Pathways to Rome and to the New Apostolic Reformation:
In summary, Reimer has lost his way by returning over and over to the monastery, practicing Catholic meditative techniques, and influencing students and others to pursue these same pathways.
Above all, Reimer shows he sanctions rituals and practices Catholics use in order to work their way to heaven, or that NARites use to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth now.
What this review reveals is truly a heart breaking scenario for Reimer seems to honestly want to seek revival. Oh, that he would get a true revelation into Rome and into the NAR where he's leading hundreds of others!
Learn to Discern Granny Verse: Colossians 1:23
" ... Continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, ..."
July 2015 Update: Please read my newest review: "River of Life, or River of Deception?" which is a review of Dr. Rob Reimer's second book (April 2015) River Dwellers.