Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"The Enoch Factor", by Steve McSwain

(By Guest Blogger - Michel Weatherall)

The Church has lost touch with it's founder, having embraced a religion about Jesus, rather than the religion of Jesus. “The Way” was the religion of Jesus. The later religion about Jesus is what we know today as Christianity.

The Christian Church has become the modern day equivalent of the legalistic and rule-orientated Pharisees of Jesus' day. “Believers are told what to think, how to believe, and the way to live. Furthermore, most church leaders disregard the fact that their founder repudiated the religious leaders of his day for doing this to the followers of Judaism”. (pg.45)

One startling fact is that “in the last ten years... it is estimate that Christian churches have spent more than $ 100 billion on buildings and facilities. In that same time, more than 400,000,000 people have died of hunger on this planet”. pg.46

What would Jesus do?

The future of the Christian Church, with its members leaving in droves, is definitely in question. Its death is near inevitable.

Unless we can collectively abandon our desperate ego-driving pretension of spiritual certainty, Humanity's future itself is also in question. Steve McSwain words echo that of the Dalai Lama. (“Until there is peace among the religions of the world, there will be no peace in the world”).

I like nearly everything Steve McSwain has to say. I especially like the fact that “The Enoch Factor” isn't attempting to re-market or repackage the old stagnant religion of Christianity; to identify the demise of the modern day church, yet selling its same flawed values.
Truth be known, I believe this direction is the only choice that has any hope for a future – not just Christianity's, but all of us.

His concepts are simple, truthful, yet truly revolutionary.
Funny that word, Revolutionary. Over that past 2 years I must have reviewed at least 5 books to make that claim. None of them were true. “The Enoch Factor” doesn't make that claim of itself, but it most definitely is revolutionary.

His take on certain issues are refreshing, like a breath of fresh air. Better! They're more like a spring breeze that cleans out the stagnant mold and damp of an over-long winter.

His take on the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve is close if not identical to Rob Bell's (“Velvet Elvis”). He addresses, or clearly defines, what Sin is, or might be. "The word sin means "to miss the mark"... Sin actually means "to miss who you are" - who you really are. It is to be lost in the illusion that you are your ego". (pg. 96). Although he doesn't come out and say it, it is clear Original Sin is abandoned. (pg. 167).He would seem to agree with LinYutang's “The Importance of Living” in that man was never meant to live forever. That death is not punishment for Sin.

"Salvation as it is called in the Christian tradition, or Enlightenment, as in Eastern traditions, is the opening of your spiritual eyes" (pg. 133).
We can begin seeing Jesus' Way as having an unofficial Buddhist take, with Salvation resembling and striving to attain the perpetual "Now", with escape from the regrets of the past and the anxiety of the future. 

Sin, Creationism, Salvation; McSwain's underlying point isn't to argue and debate these beliefs. His underlying point is our collective freedom from sin, our escape from Ego.

This book should force Christianity to question our man-made religion about Jesus, and much more importantly, begin our exploration of the religion of Jesus. Everything we believe we know and understand can be viewed anew.

This book isn't about Christianity. This book has further reaching ambitions. The author himself admits that he must tell the story through his own medium; his own culture and that is a Christian one. But do not be mistaken. This book isn't exclusively about Christianity. This book is about Humanity itself. It seeks a larger, more encompassing truth and has the open mindedness, tolerance, and compassion to succeed.

The book is littered with various quotes from sources that cannot be called anything but pluralistic.
The Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Jung, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Einstein, Sagan, atheists, singers, presidents, philosophers, theologians, authors. He truly embraces the idea of seeking out truth and wisdom wherever you find it.

In chapter 9 Steve McSwain tells the story of the death of his father and its spiritual consequences for him. This story resonated with me personally as I could relate to the time surrounding my mother's death 26 years ago. This book is difficult to read 'objectively' – in the sense of a 3rd party reading, 'analyzing', and reviewing. It makes contact in an up-close-and-personal sort of way.

The entire of chapter 8 was most intriguing to me – so much so that I most definitely need to revisit, reread, and study it in much better detail. A near instructional guide to put you on your way to truly purging sin – and even more importantly - Ego.

At the risk of coming off sounding egotistical, this book gave me a great amount of confirmation in my non-institutional spirituality; to the point were I am forced to seriously consider myself – if not “awakened” to used the author's terms - then well on my way.

I would recommend this book for anyone that I know.
5 out of 5 Stars!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for the review. Post it to Amazon? I would greatly appreciate that, too. Sincerely, thanks.