Astrology By David Phillips
Astrology Appealing to the authority of God Several years ago it was reported that over 2000 newspapers in the U.S. carried astrological columns. There were in employment 10,000 full-time and 175,000 part-time astrologers, and 33,000,000 Americans seriously believed in astrology. Since these figures were figures were recorded the popularity of astrology has only increased. It has become one of the most popular beliefs (and/or pastimes) in our culture today.
Nevertheless, in the Bible God lumps those who believe and practice astrology with those who practice other sins such as witches, sorcerers, demon worshipers, and mediums—the occult (2 Kings 17:16). Perhaps the saddest development on this matter is that there are some Christians who have been lured away from the truth by this doctrine. Because of its popularity and because of God says about it in the Bible, it is important for Christians to be aware and watchful against the influences of astrology in their lives.
What Is Astrology?
Encyclopedia Britannica describes astrology as a “type of divination that consists in forecasting earthly and human events by means of observing and interpreting the fixed stars, sun, the moon and the planets…” It is based on the belief that the sun, planets, and stars have an influence upon individuals and the course of human events. Its use is an attempt to predict the future by analyzing the movements of these heavenly bodies. “It also contends that the position of the sun, moon, planets and stars at the moment of child‟s birth have a direct impact on his or her character and that charting their positions (finding their “sign”) will reveal an individual‟s destiny” (Dunagan, Astrology, p. 1, 2).
While interest in astrology is increasing in America, the belief that the stars contain the key to the future has been around for thousands of years. Since the days of Genesis men have looked to the stars in an attempt to tell the future, even looking to them as objects to be worshiped (Deut. 4:19). Many rulers of old relied on sorcerers and astrologers for counsel (Isa. 47:13; Dan. 2:27-28, read vs. 1-26 for the context). Today, astrology has become less of an official source of counsel and more of mystical tool for the average person seeking a shortcut to wealth, success and relationships. “It appeals to human selfishness, claiming to have the inside track to fame, fortune and love” (Ibid. pg. 2). It is a means for men to feel like they have a sure guide to happiness without having to be “limited” by God‟s word. Rather than studying the Scriptures to learn what is right or wrong and feeling any sense of shame for being wrong, people look to the newspapers to see what the stars say about the kind of day they are going to have and then make their decisions based upon that. If they make bad decisions they are not in sin, they just read the stars wrong.
In this manner millions of people are duped into thinking that they have the key to a successful life when in reality, “Professing to be wise, they fools” (Rom. 1:22).
Why Does God Condemn It?
In part, the reason God condemns astrology is because it draws men‟s hearts away from trusting in Him and leads them to trust in human wisdom. Anything that leads men‟s hearts away from God is idolatry. God expects men to live upon every word that proceeds from His mouth, but those who believe in and practice astrology look to the stars (the creation) rather than God the Creator for their guidance. “Like all other forms of divination, astrology is not content with what God has revealed. It is man‟s attempt to circumvent God‟s revelation. (Hebrews 11:6)” (Ibid. pg. 3). “The true astrologer believes that the sun is the body of the logos of this solar system, in Him we live and move and have our being.‟ The planets are the angels, being [modified] in the consciousness of the logos” (I.S.B.E p. 300). Logos is Greek for “word”, as in the “the Word” of John 1:1-3. I.e. they lift the sun up as their god!
Therefore, throughout the Scriptures God has placed astrology with all of its variations (from seeking one‟s fortune to actually worshiping the stars) in the same category as idolatry and sorcery. Deut. 4:19-20: “And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them…” (See also 2 Kings 17:16).
Why Flee Such Vanity?
First and foremost, because God commands it (Eph. 5:11). His word is truth. We must obey His commands for the sake of obedience. But we can be sure that every one of His commands is filled with wisdom. Like all error, astrology has a way of leading men further and further away from God. There are some astrologers who believe that astrology is from God and that it is encouraged in the Bible. We have seen that such a belief is not true. But those who seek to justify their fascination with this error persist. Their supposed interest in God‟s word fades as they rely more and more on astrology. Once a person has made himself comfortable with the idea of seeking his fortune in the stars he begins to feel less of a need to heed God‟s council. His heart is drawn away from truth as it indulges in vain and worthless wisdom of men (read Rom. 1:18-32).
Let us not be fooled into thinking that astrology is an innocent past time. Nations have been led astray by its evil. This is the sort of vain thing that we must flee as God‟s Holy people (Prov. 14:15; 22:3).