The Bible & Christian View
Astrology is popular in our modern society: Newspapers print your daily horoscope, and people ask what sign you are. But what does the Christian faith and the Bible teach about astrology?
The Bible condemns astrology. Those who accept the Bible as the revealed Word of God must therefore stay away from astrology and horoscopes.
People in New Age circles often have their personal horoscope charted on a regular basis and accept these "divinations" into the future as trustworthy.
|Overview||A brief overview of astrology and horoscopes.|
|False Assumptions of Astrology||Unfortunately, many don't consider the philosophical foundations of Astrology.|
|Christians should avoid Astrology||The reasons.|
|Astrology is Unchristian||Quotes from the Bible and the Church.|
|Astrology is Ineffective||Quotes from the Bible.|
|Discussion Topics||Questions to ask in a Christian small group study.|
|Scientific Analysis||If Astrology is true, how does it work? Unfortunately, most people involved with Astrology never ask this question.|
|Spiritual Analysis||The spiritual implications in believing in Astrology.|
|Signs in the Heavens||Some people interpret Biblical passages about "signs in the Heavens" to support the idea that God created the signs of the zodiac to tell the gospel message.|
|Why Does Astrology Seem to Work?||Supporters of Astrology insist that Astrology works. But does it really work?|
Christians should not be involved with astrology or horoscopes. This includes:
There are two categories of people who can be harmed
Christians need to be concerned with how their actions affect others.
But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. (1 Corinthians 8:9)
And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? (1 Corinthians 8:11)
Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble. (1 Corinthians 8:13)
God commands Christians to stay away from astrology and horoscopes.
Thus says the LORD: "Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them." (Jeremiah 10:2)
What does the Bible teach about Astrology? The Old Testament states that divination is an abomination to the Lord.
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you. (Jeremiah 29:8)
What does the Traditional Christian Church teach about Astrology? The Catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that Astrology is a form of divination and that it interferes with our worship of God.
All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
The Bible considers Astrology to be a form of sorcery and indicates that God will judge those who practice it.
Stand now with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you will prevail. You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from what shall come upon you. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame. (Isaiah 47:12-14)
Astrology doesn't work. Only Daniel, a prophet of God, could answer the king's question. The astrologers could not.
The Chaldeans answered the king, and said, "There is not a man on earth who can tell the king's matter; therefore no king, lord, or ruler has ever asked such things of any magician, astrologer, or Chaldean." (Daniel 2:10)
Astrology can't save. When God judges unrighteousness, Astrology is powerless to save from God's wrath.
You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from what shall come upon you. Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame. (Isaiah 47:13-14)
In order for astrology to be true there would have to be a causal linkage between the positions of the stars and planets and the various aspects of human-ness that astrology claims can be affected by the heavenly bodies — personality, volition, the timing of events, etc.
Let's limit our discussion to personality traits since this is the simplest. Whatever it is that specifies our personality traits (some sort of wiring of the brain), there would need to be a way in which the stars can affect that. But in considering the natural laws and their possible effects we see that astrology is incapable of doing this. The gravitational influence of stars and planets get lost in the gravitational "noise" of the earth, and the light from stars get drowned out by the light from the sun and moon.
So whatever mechanism is that allows astrology to control personality, it must be outside of the physical universe. It must be spiritual.
In order for astrology to be true there would have to be a spiritual force that has influence on the development of the brain. And God would have had to create this spiritual force. But in the Bible God condemns astrology so it seems farfetched that He would have created it.
Also, when we look in the Bible at how the spirit realm works we see that it is inhabited by spiritual beings, angels and others, that have personhood much as humans do, and that they have free will. God does His work in the spirit realm through angels. God commands them and they either obey or disobey. The obedient angels wouldn't affect the spiritual realm to make astrology be true because we already know that God is against it. Since it is the angels who are the force behind astrology, then it must be a result of the fallen, disobedient angels. And if they are the source of astrology, why would we want to follow it since they are disobedient to God?
The new age movement has the idea that there are spiritual laws and principles which have power in the physical world. They would claim that astrology is one of these spiritual principles. But since God created everything including the spiritual realms (and including the angels) why would He have created something that He disapproves of? In the final analysis it is sufficient to discover through the Bible what God thinks about astrology. If He is against it we should reject it — it is as simple as that.
There are some biblical references to the sun and moon and stars as being signs. I'll discuss them briefly:
And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years." (Genesis 1:14)
The signs are so man can know about the seasons and are not astrological. There is no reference to astrology.
This is what the LORD says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them." (Jeremiah 10:2)
If this passage refers to astrology then God is telling the people not to follow astrology.
There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. (Luke 21:25)
Certainly not referring to astrology.
A few things to consider when it seems like astrology gives correct results:
(1) Can you depend on it being true? Is it always true or is it sometimes false?
(2) Can the "truth" be accounted for by the generality or fuzziness of the information? To illustrate the point, a statement such as "you will have a good day" will be true often and the statements of astrology are often of this type — they will be true a certain percentage of the time anyway.
An experiment to try
For a predefined period of time:
Try the same experiment but this time pretend that you were born at some different day, year, time and location. See if it is true as often.
(3) Is the mechanism that drives astrology true? If the planets really don't control the energies as astrology claims, then it can't be true.
(4) False religious systems are controlled by demons who have access to certain information. A Bible reference to demonstrate this:
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Timothy 4:1)
(5) How can you explain the different systems of astrology in which the readings give totally different results? I've never heard someone who believed in astrology ever consider this a problem, but I see it as a fatal problem.
(6) What are the criteria we use in judging whether or not the horoscope is true? Is it highly subjective? If so, we might think it's true because we want to believe that it is. But if we change our perspective a little bit and don't want to believe it's true, suddenly the horoscopes don't seem to be true any more. The statements in horoscopes are very subjective and that accounts for why they seem to be true.