Eternal Principles
Regenesis uses eternal principles in innovative ways to bring harmony to homeowner associations. These eternal principles are drawn from The Bible. Besides being the most widely read book ever written, it's God's plan for bringing harmony to the world by charting a moral course for daily living and opening the door to eternal life in His company.

The Regenesis logo is a triangle enclosing a twelve pointed star. The triangle represents God in three aspects: Father (Creator), Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. The star represents the twelve disciples chosen by Jesus to share his gospel (the Good News).

Jesus (God in human form) came to Earth to establish a new way for all to live in harmony with him. He was born through a human mother, Mary, and a spiritual father, the Holy Spirit. Christmas is celebrated as his birthday which took place in the town of Bethlehem in modern day Israel. The place and timing of his birth was foretold in The Bible. To read more about this, read Answers at Christmas.

Jesus grew up in a working class Jewish family. His step father Joseph was a carpenter who taught Jesus the trade. His mother had several other children by Joseph. There is little written about Jesus' childhood other than a trip to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover where he ended up conversing with the Temple priests who were amazed at his depth of scriptural knowledge.

He started his mission in his early thirties. Since many knew him as the son of a carpenter, his claims of deity and ability to perform miracles were met with skepticism and anger. Yet, he convinced many by his words and actions that he was who he claimed to be.

The Bible
The Bible has been produced in many versions. The Christian Bible is divided into the Old Testament (Before Christ writings) and the New Testament (After Christ writings). While Protestant versions of The Bible compile 66 different books, other denominations have more or fewer books based on decisions made by church leaders centuries ago. Here is an overview of this topic:

  1.  Who wrote/compiled/edited the first five books of the Bible? Click Here
  2. Who wrote/compiled/edited the various histories in the Old Testament? Click Here
  3. Who wrote/compiled/edited the "prophetic" books (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.) and the wisdom literature (Psalms, Proverbs, etc.) in the Old Testament? Click Here
  4. Who wrote/compiled/edited the various New Testament Books? Click Here
  5.  Who decided which books should be included and which excluded from the Bible? Why are there differences in the Bibles for Catholics, Protestants, and Jews? Click Here

God's Plan
God created the Universe, Earth and all living things on it including humankind, his special creation. God created Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, who lived with him in the Garden of Eden. Eden was located near the confluence of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in what is now Iraq. God provided for all their needs and gave them total freedom to enjoy his creation with one exception: They were never to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. However, they disobeyed and were exiled from the Garden out into the world to fend for themselves. This disobedience is sometimes called the Original Sin and it has tainted all of us. We're all born with a "sin nature", a spirit of rebellion against God, as were Adam and Eve.

God gave us all a free will: we can accept or reject him and his authority. The temptations of the world, like power and wealth, causes many of us to reject him in favor of self fulfillment. But those that obey him are rewarded by a life full of incredible peace and richness plus a promise of an eternal life.

To reestablish a close relationship with mankind, God came into the world as a man named Jesus. Jesus was born around 4-6 B.C. (Before Christ). (Early Christian scholars set Year One on the year Jesus was believed to have been born, however, the current thinking is that Jesus was actually born several years sooner.)

Before Jesus came to earth, God revealed himself many times to his "chosen people", the Jews. He showed himself to Moses, led the Jewish people out of Egyptian slavery and provided for them in miraculous ways as they wandered for forty years in the Sinai Desert. In spite of the fact that the Jews were God's chosen for special revelation and to obey his laws, they repeatedly disobeyed and were punished by God.

Jesus entered the world to teach a new way to commune with God. Beginning around 27 A.D. at around age 30, Jesus taught extensively in Judea which is in modern day Israel. He performed many miracles including turning water into wine, feeding 5000 people on a few loaves of bread and fish and raising Lazarus from the dead.

After three years of ministry, Jesus was killed by the Romans when a Jewish mob was incited by the Sanhedrin (Jewish religious tribunal) and demanded death by crucifixion.  This event was predicted by the Bible centuries earlier. In fact, it was the summation of his ministry. Previous to his coming, the Jews performed many different kinds of sacrifices to pay homage to God. But none of these overcame or paid for the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Jesus came to make the ultimate sacrifice with his own life. Jesus allowed himself to be crucified. As he hung in agony between two criminals who were also crucified  for high crimes against Rome, one mocked him while the other asked his forgiveness. Jesus responded to the second criminal, "I tell you the truth. Today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43) Several other examples of God's forgiveness are described in the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Parable of the Sower.

Three days after his death by crucifixion, Jesus was resurrected (came alive again) and was seen by over 500 witnesses. His death and resurrection was his way of initiating a new promise to humankind: Whoever believes that he is God, that he died to pay for our sins and accepts his invitation will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven. Those that reject him will live apart from him. This apartness, called "hell", is often satirized as devils with forked tails living in eternal fire. It is, however, no laughing matter. One author chillingly described hell as "eternity in a solitary void to contemplate life without God".

After his resurrection and a brief time with followers, Jesus resumed his place in heaven, leaving the Holy Spirit to guide believers in right living and understanding of his will and plan. He promised to return at a time of his choosing to judge each person according to belief or non-belief in him.

Core Christian Beliefs
Although Christians debate some relatively unimportant doctrines (principles), core principles that should not be debated are:

  • The Trinity - One God with Three Aspects: Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus Christ is the Messiah (deliverer of mankind) predicted in the Bible.
  • The Bible is complete, without error and records God's plan for humanity.
  • God's willingness to forgive and take us back alone grants us the opportunity for eternal life with Him. None can earn it by doing "good works". 
  • Jesus alone opened the door by paying the price for our sins with his death.
  • Jesus will return someday to judge each of us according to our acceptance or rejection of Him.
  • Believers are commanded to share the Gospel (good news) of how we can live an eternal life with him.
  • Jesus's invitation is open to all of humanity. It is not limited to any race or culture. Jesus wants all to follow him, and him alone.

Was Jesus Christ God? If he was, then you can believe everything he said. And if he wasn't, then he was just another man like Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, Socrates, and Moses - with one exception. He must have been crazy and the hundreds of followers who saw him after his resurrection must also have been lunatics. But his words and actions, and those of his disciples are not those of lunatics.  His disciples suffered horrible torture, persecution and death convinced he was God. Thousands more through the ages that never met him personally suffered and died in that belief. Even his enemies witnessed the miracles he performed and admitted that "No one spoke as he did."

Jesus is indeed God. The Bible foretold his coming and he came. He said many times he was God. Examples: "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father (God)" and "No one comes to the Father but through Me". This claim of deity is unique to Jesus. Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed and the rest were God's creations. Jesus is God, the creator of the universe and all that's in it. BIG difference.

A Changed Life Those that believe in Jesus as God experience a profoundly changed life, turning away from self centered behavior and becoming what God intended. The result is fulfillment and peace in this life and an eternal joy in the next life. Not a bad trade.

How is the Christian Church organized? There are different styles of church organization. Often, there is a volunteer board of church members which handles administrative tasks. If the church is large enough, paid employees handle priestly and clerical tasks. A priest hosts church services which run from unadorned Bible teachings to highly traditional ritualistic events. The priest may or may not be the leader of the church.
Some Christian churches are self-governing (independent). Others are part of a larger organization which have various levels of hierarchy (state, region, country, continent).

What are the Major Denominations of Christianity?
Protestants. In the early 16th century, Martin Luther, a German priest and professor of theology, nailed a list of objections to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church on his church door. The Pope demanded he stop the challenge under threat of excommunication (exiled permanently from the Catholic church). Luther refused and set in motion the Protestant Reformation which split the Western Church.

Protestants are the dominant religion in Germany, England, Northern Ireland, The Netherlands, Scandinavia, USA, Canada (except Quebec), Australia and South Africa. Major Protestant groups include Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Anglican/Episcopalian, Presbyterian and Evangelical.

Beliefs Protestants are agreed on their rejection of the Pope as a supreme authority. Protestants point to the Bible and particularly the New Testament for beliefs. They advocate regular Bible teaching. Protestant church services are not as formal as Catholic services and always held in the local language. Protestant priests (sometimes called ministers or pastors) are allowed to marry. There is no reverence of Mary and Saints as in the Catholic tradition and icon worship as in Eastern Orthodox view.

Protestant church services range from formal Episcopalian/Anglican services, which are almost carbon copies of Catholic services, to the informal services of certain Bible Study groups. Some groups have a relaxed approached while other groups are extremely rigid, even to the point of specifying dress and hairstyles. Music can vary greatly from old traditional hymns to contemporary. Protestant church architecture varies a lot as well from elaborate cathedrals to home churches.

Protestant "Bible Churches" stress the study of the Bible. Christians believe that the Bible is the total and infallible word of God. There is no higher or greater truth. Sermons in "Bible Churches" explain the original intent and meaning of Biblical passages. Children attend Sunday School which includes age appropriate Bible centered education. Teenagers join youth groups which mixes Bible-based education with social activities. Men, women and couples meet for Bible Studies and fellowship gatherings are held.

There are many denominations (divisions) of the Protestant Church and there are thousands of "independent" churches which belong to no denomination. Here are some of them found in America:

  • Baptists - Accept the basic beliefs of the Protestant Reformation (saved by faith in Jesus and His grace alone-no one can "earn" eternal life), the absolute authority of the Bible, and that each believer should share the Good News. Have added other beliefs and practices, including water baptism of believers, the separation of church and state, and the autonomy of the local church.
  • Mennonites - Originally from Switzerland and Holland, Mennonites are commonly found in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. They are liberal cousins of the Amish. Mennonites are known for home-building teams that visit recovering disaster areas.
  • Amish - Found in distinctive colonies in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and in North Central Ohio and a few other places, the Amish are known for rejection of the world and its technology.
  • Presbyterians are found strongly in Scotland and Pennsylvania. They emphasize local church leadership and range from conservative to liberal groups.
  • Episcopalians (called Anglican in Great Britain)
  • Lutherans worship in a very similar way to Roman Catholics, but do not accept the Pope as their spiritual leader.
  • Methodists are somewhere between Baptists and Anglicans, and have a generally liberal social view. They are strong in the USA. Methodists emphasize service to the poor and have worldwide missions.
  • Charismatics emphasize spiritual "gifts" like speaking in tongues (prayer language unintelligible to all but the person speaking it), healing and the emotional side of the religion.
  • Seventh Day Adventists emphasize Saturday as sabbath (God's holy day) as do the Jew
  • Roman Catholicism. Based in Vatican City, an independent country of less than 200 acres located within Rome, Italy. The head of the Roman Catholic Church is The Pope. Under The Pope, Cardinals rule various regions and countries. Bishops rule under the Cardinals and local churches have priests. Today, the Roman Catholic Church is the dominant religion in Italy, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, South America, Central America, Northern USA, Philippines, Austria, Switzerland and Poland. Catholic schools are found throughout the world and are generally known for a high level of education.

Beliefs
Catholics believe that The Pope is infallible (without error) in matters of faith, God's spokesman on Earth, and must be obeyed. Mary, the mother of Jesus, is highly venerated, as are other "Saints" (deceased men and women who are believed to have performed miracles.) Catholics practice infant baptism (immersing in water to "wash" away sins). Catholics practice confession to priests.

Eastern Orthodoxy In the 3rd century A.D., the Roman Empire split into two parts. The Western Empire was ruled from Rome, while the Eastern Empire was ruled from Constantinople, present day Istanbul, Turkey. The dividing line was roughly the present day division between Croatia and Serbia. The Western Empire spoke Latin, while the Eastern Empire spoke Greek.

The Roman Catholic Church split in the 10th century and the Eastern Church became known as Eastern Orthodox led by Patriarchs (senior Bishops) in Constantinople (later known as Byzantium), Antioch, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Damascus, Alexandria, and others. Later, Kiev and Moscow became important centers in Russia. Today, under these Patriarchs are Metropolitans, followed by Bishops and Priests. The Eastern Orthodox church is now the dominant religion in Greece, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine and Rumania.

Beliefs Compared to the Western Church, the Orthodox church is a more personal religion and emphasizes mystic experience. Since there is no overall ruler equivalent to the Pope, individual groups have varying beliefs. Most Orthodox households have a small icon of Jesus, perhaps with Mary.

Other Branches of Christianity include the Coptic Church - located principally in Egypt and Ethiopia.

How does Christianity compare to other religions?
Judaism is the direct ancestor of Christianity. Christianity diverged from Judaism in approximately 30 A.D. Christians consider most of the Jewish writings to this time as the Christian Old Testament. The Bible writings about Jesus Christ are known as the New Testament. Of those writings, the Book of Matthew is an excellent introduction to Jesus. The Book of Hebrews is intended specifically for Jews.

Islam takes the elements of Jewish and Christian history and adds the writings of Mohammed from The Koran. Christians and Jews are considered far above the rest of humanity spiritually by most Moslems. Moslems consider The Koran to be the spiritual document intended for the Arabs and the Old Testament to be the spiritual document intended for Jews.

Buddhism teaches that life is suffering and to eliminate suffering, one must eliminate desires which cause suffering. Christianity agrees with this to a point. However, Christians do not accept that life means suffering. Buddhism also teaches that multiple "reincarnations" result in a soul which attains Nirvana, an ultimate state of disinterested wisdom and compassion. Christians look forward to a single resurrection and joyful eternal life with God.

Hinduism teaches that there are many Gods and many ways to God. Christianity teaches the way to God is narrow. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life...no one comes to the Father except by Me". In others word, belief in Jesus as God, His teachings and mission is the only way to eternal life. 

What are the key life teachings of Christianity?
Besides belief in an afterlife and one God composed of three parts (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), Christianity has some strong guidelines for every day life:

  • Treat every person as you would like to be treated.
  • Follow God's instruction and your life will be better by making you the way he intended...unique and better able to resist the power of sin.
  • Reliance on God gives a peace "beyond human understanding".
  • Be more concerned with Godly behavior than power, wealth, etc.
  • Be kind to your enemies.
  • Don't get too attached to this world. The best is yet to come.
  • Being a Christian is a personal decision. It can't be forced or inherited.
  • Sharing the Good News

Jesus spoke of "sharing the good news". The Good News is that we have an eternity of joy awaiting us if we choose it. Jesus came to offer both a changed life here and an eternal life afterwards. But each person must make a personal decision to follow Him. You never know when your life on earth will end.

What Now? Why not consider starting your eternal journey using this Roadmap for New Christians? It explains that Christianity is both faith and process. A focused process will help you grow in faith.