Christianity and Taoism

Christianity and Taoism are both philosophical thought and systems of religion based on ancient texts. Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on Jesus’ teaching. Taoism is a philosophical tradition founded by Lao Tzu, who underscored harmonious living among all humans.


Christianity and Taoism hold different views on why humans fail to live the life they should. Christianity emphasizes on living according to the way God intends people to live. Christians are required to abide by the 10 commandments in order to receive salvation and eternal life. Sin is a product of disobedience to live according to God’s will. People are born sinful after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Christians comprehend departure from the life intended by God in terms of disobedience of the will of God. Thus Christians believe that people ideal life is about living in accordance with God’s will. Christians also profess their belief in Jesus and the Nicean Creed (Common Elements n.d). Taoists hold that people have the ability to think in the Way of Tao. Nevertheless, they think their way into departing from the Way of the Tao. This thinking is what draws them away from the naturalness. For Taoist, living ideal life is about living in harmony with the Tao. Tao is considered the origin and law of all things on Earth. Taoists believe that humans can live forever or become deities by practicing austerities and rituals. Salvation and salvific practice are not considered in Taoism. Taoist beliefs underscore the virtues of moderation and compassion.

Historically, Lao Tzu and Jesus are different. Jesus Christ is considered God in human form and Son of God. Therefore, he is human being with divine powers of God. Scriptures and other historical books describe the person of Jesus as an immaculate conception via the Virgin Mary (Common Elements n.d). He is considered the anointed one who came to reconcile fallen mankind to God. Most Christians believe in one God manifested in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Lao Tzu, by contrast, is understood as a human figure without divinity.


Christianity and Taoism have both birth stories that include unusual elements. Lao Tzu was birthed by a shooting star. He was born when 80 years old. Similarly, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit through a virgin who was sinless (Caleb, 2009). However, whereas Christians profess Christ as a Son of God, Taoists do not consider Tzu or Tao a son or god but a Way of nature.

Both Jesus and Tzu spend their time spreading the word of God and Tao respectively. Moreover, many of statements in both the Bible and Tao Te Ching are abstract and paradoxical in nature.  Many parables Jesus taught are kind of abstract requiring readers to search their own meaning behind the parable and how it applies to them (Saint Mary’s Press, 2015). The parable of prodigal son, for example, shows a son acting in illogical manner yet it reveals deeper faith when approached from the angle of faith. In the same way, statements in the Tao Te Ching must be approached through intuition in order to find meaning. Followers of Tao are supposed to find meaning through nature appreciation, mediation and other practices.

Christianity and Taoism are more dissimilar than they are similar. Besides both being systems of religion and philosophical tradition and having extraordinary birth stories, they are incompatible in many respects. Taoism teaches about harmony between natural order and human way, a way of living that is compatible with happiness and health. Christianity, by contrast,  profess their faith in Jesus who gives eternal life.


Caleb, G. (2009). Christianity vs. Taoism. Let Jesus be your Talk Show Host. Retrieved on December 25, 2021 from

Common Elements of religions. Sophia

Saint Mary’s Press. (2015). Comparing and contrasting Taoism with Christianity. World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery. Saint Mary’s Press

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