The values taught by Chinese Philosophies and the Bible are the essentially the same --- harmony of heaven, earth and men. The mystery of Christ within is the fulfilment of Chinese' desire of 'Inside Saint and Outside King' by the grace of God. Reading ancient Chinese classics help us to understand the Bible better. Consider the concept of harmony.
To die on the cross to pay for the sins of men so that men can be reconciled to God, achieving peace between God and men. In other words, the purpose of Jesus is harmony between God and men and men living on earth. (recalled Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on EARTH. A new heaven and new earth ...). So, it is actually, harmony between God, Earth and Men!
My answer is obvious --- yes and it is even better to know them well (the philosophies, not the religions). Understanding Chinese Philosophies give me better understanding of world and even of the Bible. Ancient Chinese Philosophies begin with the fear of God. Men should follow the Dao of the Earth(the natural order) and Heaven (the God's order as revealed in the working laws of the creation).
What does harmony mean? How do you achieve harmony? What are the results of harmony? I will give you the answers from the Ancient Chinese Philosophies perspective at end of this post. You can compare it to what you know from the Bible about harmony. Hopefully, you can find the teaching from Chinese Philosophies is similar and gives you more.
The key difference is in the incarnation of God into Man, Jesus Christ and the subsequent rebirth of man into children of God by the Holy Spirit, achieving the Christ in You, the greatest mystery of all.
- Harmony is the vibrant and smooth exchanges of the unique contributions of diversity resulting in abundant growth for all. The modern day is called "synergy" with 1 + 1 (of another type) = 10, 100, 1000....
- The foundation of Harmony is diversity, not uniformity!
- Harmony is much much more than tolerance of the diversity.
- Tolerance is separation, keeping a distance. In I-Ching, it is called 否stagnation, the very opposite of Abundance 泰. Harmony is vibrant with each one contributing his best to benefit others and the whole.
Three key concepts:
- 礼 the rules of conduct, good manners, the protocols for exchange.It is built on 仁 love, charity, kindness and 义，righteousness. It ensure no misunderstanding in the exchanges. 礼 li is how love should be expressed so that there is not misunderstanding intention in our actions.
- 乐 yue Music : the smooth interaction and exchanges and co-ordination resulting in great music, bringing joy, peace, rest, comfort to all. The music of interactions flow and adapt to changes.
- 中庸 balance of just right, no more and no less. Never going to the extreme, balancing the demands of many and creating win win win for all.
It is not A or B favouring one party only, but A & B with a dynamic balance that shift with changes from internal or external. There is love in justice and justice in love. Going to the extreme is spoiling kids on the extreme end of love and rebellious and angry kids on the other extreme of just.
The result is growth for all and abundance wealth for all to share. By exchanging, the economy produces more. This is econ 101. But exchanges of love and care in the right way will bring forth abundance not just in economic wealth, but social peace, harmony and life, the real living.