Here are a podcast and notes on Confucianism & Taoism (14 minutes).

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Note: both these systems may be viewed more as philosophies than as religions, although Taoism incorporates a lot of traditional Chinese folk religion (magic practices, ancestor worship, etc).


  1. c.500 BC
  2. Confucius
  3. Wu Ching, Ssu Shu (Analects)
  4. China, Taiwan, and other nations where Chinese emigrants have settled.


  1. c.550 BC
  2. Lao Tse
  3. Tao Te Ching
  4. China and elsewhere in the Chinese diaspora



“If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character;
if there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home;
if there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation;
if there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.”—Chinese proverb

Ancestor worship: “While parents are alive, serve them according to ritual. When they die, bury them according to ritual and sacrifice to them according to ritual.” —Analects of Confucius 2:5. Generally, offerings to individual ancestors are made only to the last 3 or 4 generations. For earlier ancestors, collective offerings are made.

Other Confucian quotes

  • “Has anyone managed to do good with his whole might even as long as the space of a single day? I think not.”—Analects 4:6
  • “I have never yet seen anyone whose desire to build up his moral power was a strong as sexual desire.”—Analects 9:17
  • “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.”—Analects 15:23
  • “As to being a divine sage, or even a good man, far be it from me to make any such claim!” —Analects 7:33
  • “When anger rises, think of the consequences.”

Taoist quotes

  • The weakest thing in the whole world dashes against the hardest in the whole world. There is in all the world nothing that is softer or weaker than water, but in attacking what is hard and strong, nothing surpasses it. Without substance it penetrates where there is no crevice; by what-is-not this becomes easy. From this I know that non-action profits..... That by which the River and the sea are able to be kings of the hundred valleys is their fitness to be lower than these… Therefore, if a Saint wishes to be above people, he should, in his words, be lower. If he wishes to be in front of the people, he should, in his person, be behind.—Tao Te Ching 43 and 66
  • The movement of the Way is: to reverse. The method of the Way is: to be weak. — Tao Te Ching 11
  • He who displays himself, shines not. Superior Virtue never asserts its virtue; therefore it has virtue.—Tao Te Ching 24 and 38
  • Though thirty spokes may be joined in one hub,  the utility of the carriage lies in what is not there….Though doors and windows may be cut to make a house, the utility of the house lies in what is not there. Therefore, taking advantage of what is, we recognize the utility of what is not.—Tao Te Ching 1
  • No fault is greater than the desire to acquire. For to know that enough is enough is to have always enough.—Tao Te Ching 46
  • When the Court is well purified, but the fields are full of weeds and the granaries are empty, [the rulers] wear decorated and embroidered robes, gird themselves with sharp swords, glut themselves with food, and have superfluous possessions—this I call robbing and bragging. It is certainly contrary to the Way.—Tao Te Ching 117
  • If the people starve, it is because of the quantity of taxes consumed by their superiors. That is why they starve. If the people are hard to govern, it is because of the interference of their superiors. That is why they are hard to govern.—Tao Te Ching 75
  • Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.—Tao Te Ching 33

Outreach tips for Confucianists & Taoists (traditional Chinese culture):

  1. Teach them about the personal God of the Bible
  2. Discuss the father-relationship, as such an exploration can help them form a more accurate concept of God.
  3. And yet we are not to worship our parents, while they are living or after they have died (ancestor worship).
  4. Appreciate Chinese culture.
  5. Many Confucian and Taoist ideals are good and right, and we as God's people can and should be living that way anyway. We should model respect towards parents and authorities, order, a "quiet life" (1 Thessalonians 4), hard work, ecological awareness, and so on.

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