Scripture: John 14:25-27; 1 John 2:7-11
The time after Advent and before Lent is when we do a sermon series that broadens our horizons and gets us to see things from a new perspective. In this vein, we are doing a short five sermon series called Crossover. Last week we talked about how Buddhism overlaps with Christianity. This week, we are talking about how Confucianism overlaps with Christianity.
Confucianism was founded by the Chinese philosopher Confucius who lived from 551–479 B.C. Confucius’ philosophy was grounded in some basic principle, the most important of which is that human beings are fundamentally good. Confucius believed that any person could be improved and perfected through the right kind of teaching. Even if you made poor choices and hurt other people, anyone could turn themselves around and do better.
At the core of this teaching is the idea that humans are motivated to better themselves because of their community. In order for a person to improve themselves, one has to engage in activities of internal self-cultivation and external self-creation. But doing these things for yourself is often not enough. We have to do them for the benefit of the community.
His teachings emphasized the importance of family and social harmony, which leads to the other central tenet that makes Confucianism work so well, which has to do with this Chinese idea of Yin and Yang. This Sunday, I’m going to demonstrate how Confucius’ approach to Yin and Yang is very similar to how Christians think of God's Holy Spirit working in the world. It’s supposed to be an icy and snowy weekend. I hope you stay warm and enjoy some time with those you love!