I am familiar
with Taoism. Let's start with some history.
It is estimated
that Lao-tzu was born sometime between 604 B.C. and 570 B.C. He
supposedly had a position as a curator of the imperial archives
at Loyang, the capital city of the state of Ch'u. He grew tired
with the tyranny of the government, resigned, wrote a small book
(about 5,500 words) and disappeared.
The book, known
as The Tao Te King (or just as Lao-tzu) included instructions for
running a government. It taught that less government is better,
and rulers should lead through inaction. No one ever followed this
advice. The book also included Lao-tzu's philosophy of life--which
was to be low-key, have no ambition and stay in the background.
There is some
disagreement as to whether Lao-tzu actually existed and the date
The Tao Te King was written. Based on an analysis of the language,
modern scholars place The Tao Te King as having been written in
The first thing
I notice concerning Taoism and Christianity is that the earliest
date for Lao-tzu writing his small book is about 600 B.C. The Old
Testament in the Bible was written between 1400 B.C. (when Moses
wrote the first five books of the Bible) and about 400 B.C., when
the last book of the Old Testament was written. That means that
most of the Old Testament was written prior to the birth of Lao-tzu,
and thus could not have been influenced by Lao-tzu.
We also need
to note that Taoism was a philosophy of how to live your life. It
attempted to put man in harmony with nature by practicing the attitude
of Wu Wei, which means inaction. It was not until the second century
A.D. that religious Taoism began - more than 100 years after Christ.
At that time emperor Huan ordered a temple built in honor of Lao-tzu.
Over a period of five hundred years after that Taoism developed
as a religion until there was a priesthood, sacred scripture, temples,
disciples and a belief that a new age would come about. Over time
a belief in gods, heaven and hell were added. The religion of Taoism
developed hundred's of years after Christianity, and thus it is
more likely that Taoism copied some things from Christianity, not
the other way around.
But, let's take
a look at the beliefs of Taoism vs. Christianity.
Taoism is a
way to achieve personal peace and harmony with nature by withdrawing
from the world, by not interacting with the world, and by doing
nothing to solve the problems of the world. It is a religion focused
on the self and it emphasizes inactivity and not being involved
with the world. And most noticeably, it has no solution for the
problem of evil and sin in the world.
however, is focused on others and calls people to action. We are
to care for those who need our help (widows, orphans, the disabled,
sick, elderly and poor). We are to actively spread God's word. We
are to be actively involved with the world and in using the spiritual
gifts God has given us.
(God) also solves the problem of sin through the one sacrifice for
all people that Jesus made when he died on the cross for us.
of Taoism and Christianity are so different that it is easy to see
that these two religions were never related.