By Mark Mayberry
In our first article we provided an introduction to astrology. After having defined the subject, we examined the history, prevalence, and appeal of astrology. In our second article, we saw that astrology cannot pass the test of science. It has failed repeated attempts at validation. Its claim to analyze character is deceptive. Furthermore, it fails to accurately predict the future. In this final article we will see how astrology fails the test of Scripture.
It is Idolatrous
The danger in astrology is that people look to the stars for guidance in making important decisions. This becomes a substitute for true religion. Anyone who trusts in the stars, rather than in God, is engaging in idolatry. Anything that turns man away from God as the ruling force in his life is evil and sinful (cf. Col. 3:5).
Astrology was very common in ancient times, but it was strictly forbidden for God’s people. The Bible treats astrology as it does sorcery and other heathen traditions that are spiritual counterfeits. “Divination,” the general term for occult practices used in the Old Testament, included astrology. All such idolatrous practices were condemned (Deut. 18:914; 2 Kgs. 23:5, ASV Footnote; Isa. 47:11-14; Jer. 10: 1-2; Dan. 1: 19-20; 2: 10-11; 4:7; 5:7-8; Acts 19:19).
The heavens point to the power and majesty of God (Psa. 19:1-4; Rom. 1:20), but they do not offer us spiritual guidance. Man cannot discover the mind of God by gazing up into the heavens. God has given us the inspired Scriptures for guidance from day to day (Psa. 119:97-105; 2 Tim. 3:15-17). We must learn to trust in him.
It Is Fatalistic
Astrology also stands at odds with the biblical doctrine of human accountability. Man is personally responsible for his conduct (Acts 2:40; Phil. 2:12; Gal. 6:7). Nonetheless, we have a disturbing tendency to shift the blame for our mistakes (Gen. 3:12; 1 Sam. 15:14-15).
It is tempting to believe that cosmic forces beyond our control determine our lives. Shakespeare said, “We make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence.”(1)
James Randi is right in saying that astrology “serves to release man from having to take the blame for his own stupidities. A bad conjunction of planets can always be blamed for unfortunate occurrences. Whatever its function, astrology is an irrationality that serves mankind poorly.”(2) The danger of astrology is that it becomes a way to escape responsibility for one’s behavior. Nothing that goes wrong is ever really our fault if our fates are determined by the stars. We end up saying, “Yes I did it, but that’s the way Leos act. It’s not my fault because that’s just the way I am.” However, Shakespeare put it best centuries ago when he said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.”
It Is False
By their very calling, Christians love truth rather than falsehood (Prov. 23:23; Jn. 8:32; 17:17). Astrology simply isn’t true. It fails the tests of both science and Scripture. It is utterly wrong and wholly untrustworthy. Its prophecies consistently fail. Thus, we should not countenance it (Deut. 18:18-22). True prophets did not play the numbers game. They did not expect a certain percentage of their utterances to fail (Cf. Matt. 5:17-18).
Astrology is pure fiction. Its claims are fraudulent and deceitful. Yet, people continue to believe this claptrap philosophy, despite evidence to the contrary. Why is this so? Modern man faces a deep-seated spiritual crisis. We live in a spiritual vacuum, in a world devoid of values. Religion has lost its meaning and influence in the lives of many. Humanism has proclaimed the dawning of a new day for man, and yet it has left man without any spiritual foundation. As G.K. Chesterton once said, “When a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing, he believes in anything! ” It is imperative that we turn back to God and his word for guidance. Genuine faith gives us strength to face the trials of life. Christian hope is an anchor for the soul. Why trust in the deceitful message of astrology? Only the gospel offers a sure foundation.
1. Shakespeare, King Lear, Acts 1, Scene 2.
2. James Randi, Flim-Flam, (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1982), p. 56.
Guardian of Truth XXXIV: 20, p. 612
October 18, 1990