The Enoch Factor - A Review

Neil Girrard

Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Ezek. 28:12-15 π Mt. 7:13 π Mt. 24:4 π Mt. 24:10 π Jn. 16:13 π Acts 17:27 π Rom. 2:8 π 1 Cor. 5:9-10 π 2 Cor. 6:17-18 π 2 Ths. 2:3 π 1 Pet. 5:8 π 1 Jn. 4:1
All quotations are from The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God, Steve McSwain (Smyth & Helwys, 2010), unless otherwise noted.

If all one examines and handles are corpses, one cannot know much about healthy human living. If one only has relations with prostitutes, one cannot have any real knowledge or wisdom about being a good husband and family man. Steve McSwain, author of The Enoch Factor: The Sacred of Knowing God, seems to know only the “Christian” religion (a thing instituted by men and demons and not God) and does not seem to have ever himself, in or out of the “church,” received the life of Christ implanted within by His Spirit. McSwain’s own initial “conversion” was only “the needed passport to permanent bliss in the afterlife we called heaven.” (p. 68) He goes on to say, “Beyond my profession of faith, not much else seemed to matter about being a Christian. As long as you were a good American, did not fudge on your taxes, kept your wedding vows, went to church regularly, and paid your tithes, you were certain to go to heaven.” (p. 69) Throughout his book it is this “Christian” religion that he compares to his later “awakenings,” “enlightenments,” and “otherworldly experience.” (p. 81) His rejection of the “Christian” religion, right as that is, has left him with no basis by which to know the true God other than by his own feelings and relativistic (lawless) preferences. Sadly, a more apt sub-title for his book would be “The Sacred Art of Pleasing Self in the Name of ‘God’” – there are no real traces of the idea that God is the one to be pleased and obeyed at all costs to self and one’s preferences. In his rightful rejection of dysfunctional “Christianity,” McSwain has unfortunately embraced something even more spiritually lethal than churchianity.

McSwain’s Baptist version of “Christianity” was proven defunct and dead at the death of his father (see especially p. 146) – an event that can test many people’s faith but which seems almost divinely engineered to show the emptiness of “church” American-style. McSwain’s list of warped and twisted beliefs (p. 24-25) shows what a distorted view of the Christ-life he labored under during his twenty-plus years as a “pastor” of a successful Baptist “church.” McSwain clearly and often recognizes the “Christian” religion’s errors. He describes it as “critically ill,” (p. 3), calls it a “demonic curse” (even though he doesn’t believe in a personal devil! – p. 27), “frankly loathes” various aspects of it (p. 9), and notes the “church’s” expenditure of more than $100 billion in the last 10 years on buildings and facilities while simultaneously 400 million people have died of hunger. (p. 45-46), and goes on to say:

“In my experience, instead of helping people know God, many Christian churches and their leaders are obsessed with achieving the status of being the biggest church with the largest crowds and the most elaborate campuses. They measure spiritual progress in terms of the number of attendees, the size of their annual incomes, and the square footage of their facilities. Furthermore, virtually every Christian leadership conference showcases the largest of these churches, as well as their leaders, as if they were role models for all other churches. Over the years, a celebrity-like cult has developed around some of these churches and their leaders. It is not so different from the cult following associated with celebrities in Hollywood.

Instead of showing people how to live a Christ-conscious life, most likely because they do not know how themselves, some church leaders saddle their followers with a catalogue of ‘do’s’ and don’ts’ as onerous as the proverbial Sears catalogue. Believers are told what to think, how to believe, and the way to live.” (p. 45)

McSwain goes on to say, “...the purpose of Christianity is to make God known. The fact that the church has all but replaced that purpose with matters of lesser importance is the church’s greatest failure. Please understand that I do not make these observations about the church with detachment. I am concerned about the failure of the Christian church because, in many ways I have lived much of my life making the same fundamental mistake.” (p. 57 – emphasis in original) Now McSwain’s “awakening,” “enlightenment,” “otherworldly experience” and feelings of nearness and intimacy with God (much of which differs in name but otherwise little from New Age “spirituality”) has convinced him that he now sees “everything through lenses cleared of conditioned thinking” (p. 28) and that he should now be writing books about knowing God! What life-changing event (the death of his wife or son or debilitating illness?) will later cause him to realize just how deep the “rabbit hole” of churchianity really goes and just how deep he is still in it? As it stands now, McSwain, rather than seek the Spirit of truth and obey the Spirit’s command to come out from all forms of “Christian” idolatry and be separated only unto God ( 2 Cor. 6:17-18 , 1 Cor. 5:9-10; top ), still keeps his career at “churches, conventions and corporate events.” (back cover) This is hypocrisy.

Jesus said that the Spirit of truth - His Holy Spirit – would lead us into all truth. ( Jn. 16:13 ) There is no evidence in this book that McSwain has ever submitted to this Spirit but rather has instead turned to “the spirit of Enoch” (p. 4, etc.) for guidance and insight – and indeed this spirit has taken him on an extensive “tour” that parallels and imitates and counterfeits the Christ-life in many ways. McSwain’s idea of “knowing God” – “God” being some fuzzy, nebulous, asexual concept and scarcely even a distinctly knowable being with specific characteristics and attributes – is that of his own “inner sensation or feeling – my awareness that something infinitely grander than anything I could ever imagine has wrapped itself around me in love.” (p. 29) Satan, the devil, a being who is also an unimaginably much grander creation than the human being ( Ezek. 28:12-15 ) also wraps himself in love around his victims. He does not mind if (in fact, it his aim for) humans to have feelings of “intimacy” and “nearness” with some spiritual entity the human blindly and falsely presumes to be “God” while, all the time, the human progresses down the broad way that leads to hell ( Mt. 7:13 ) through his or her rejection of genuinely divine truth and righteousness. ( Rom. 2:8 ) The devil’s “love,” however, is more like the “love” a lion has for a captured gazelle! ( 1 Pet. 5:8; top ) McSwain conveniently (for the devil, that is) believes instead that “Satan is actually a kind of alter ego or the dark side of one’s personality.” (p. 40) Neither Jesus nor any of the New Testament writers ever viewed the devil as such!

Rather than seek only the Spirit of truth, McSwain has turned to all religions, all manner of people who, also apart from a close union with Christ’s Spirit of truth, have groped after “God” (see Acts 17:27; top ) and re-shaped Him into their own likenesses, preferences or understanding (exactly as the Christian “churches” which McSwain loathes have done) and neglected, distorted or flat-out rejected what God has to say about Himself. McSwain rightly finds it arrogant and condescending when “Christians” express their supposed superiority over practitioners of other religions because those “poor souls” don’t “know Jesus, the real God.” (p. 21) But he does not recognize the monstrous arrogance required to dismiss or spin into a more convenient meaning those passages of the Bible that contradict his own opinions or that expose his New Age “spirituality” for what it is.

McSwain is right about many things – his quote from G.K. Chesterton (“The reformer is always right about what is wrong, but generally wrong about what is right.” – p. 53) is most aptly applied to McSwain! The “church” is all that McSwain says – and more! The “church,” the “Christian” religion in its organized and institutionalized forms, is the apostasy, the great falling away from the faith that both Jesus and Paul prophesied would come prior to the return of Christ. ( Mt. 24:10 , 2 Ths. 2:3; top ) Unfortunately, McSwain’s rejection of this apostasy – right in itself – results in his (and any who will follow after him) being propelled into a worse, even more lethal, form of error.

McSwain opens and closes his book with the question: “You were born to walk with God, so why would you walk alone?” (p. 1, 233) Excellent question indeed! But the follow-up question is this: “You were born to walk with God, so why would you walk off with someone else?” Especially a marginally-mentioned spirit of an Old Testament Bible character! Jesus’ warning about the end of the age – “Take care that no one deceives you.” ( Mt. 24:4; top ) – is perhaps the warning the genuine followers of Christ need to hear most.

“Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but test the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God…” ( 1 Jn. 4:1; top )

Let he who has ears hear.

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