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"Why is astrology seen as so evil?"

May 16, 2017

 

One of the questions we received for You Asked For It is this:

 

Astronomy & Christianity - the bible mentions stars & moon formations a lot and events like Easter are celebrated according to the moon, so why is astrology seen as so evil?

 

This is an interesting question, and I thought that it was worth answering, if not on a Sunday, then definitely through a blog post. The first thing I would like to point out is that Easter is not celebrated according to the moon in the way that the moon is significant to Easter. Rather the moon was one way of keeping track of time, and it was used as a gauge for the day of Jesus' Resurrection (a date not recorded by the Apostles).

 

This article explains this well: http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/august/why-does-easters-date-wander.html

 

In engaging culture, I find that the framework of "receive, reject and redeem" helpful in discerning how we can engage (I have Ps Mark Driscoll to thank for this framework). To "receive" means that the cultural practice is in alignment with Christian beliefs and value, or at the very least does not have an element that goes against our belief system. For example, the internet in and of itself is not a problem (certain sites might be, but not the internet as a tool). In fact the internet can be used to spread the gospel, etc. To "redeem" means that there are elements that go against Christian beliefs, but it is possible to redeem the practice through education about its roots, or practicing it in a different way. Perhaps an example is Valentine's Day, which at its roots is not anti-Christian. Our culture has changed how Valentine's Day is celebrated, and there is cause to redeem this.

 

"Rejection" takes place when we understand the root and the practice of something to be against Christian beliefs and principles. Astrology in the form of future telling is one such area because, firstly, the Bible speaks against astrology (e.g. Deut 18:10-12; Is 47:13-14; Micah 5:12). Why the Bible speaks out against astrology is because astrology attempts telling the future through observing astrological phenomena. It is an attempt by humans to control their future, turning to human devices rather than to God. The Bible states the future is unknowable (e.g. James 4:14, Mark 13:32), and the overriding message is to trust in God alone.

 

The study of astrology as a scientific pursuit, e.g. how stars form, tracking time, etc, the Bible does not condemn. To study them to find out a person's "destiny" or horoscope however is to turn people away from placing their faith in God.

 

For example, when I was single and desperate trying not to be, I caught sight of a horoscope in the papers which stated something about "an important meeting" or something along those lines. And as much as I did not believe in the validity of the horoscope, it still coloured the way I saw my day. Every meeting with a girl stirred up a "what if" in my mind. Every non-event became a disappointment for my day. I discovered that the simple, innocent glance at the horoscope was tainting and stealing from my day.

 

I believe that humans are wired to find hope in any way they can. A person desperate for hope needs to be guided to God, not to human devices.

 

One final note, as far as I've researched, the Bible does NOT talk about the moon and stars as a way of telling the future. Most references refer to how God had created the moon and stars and placed them, again bringing people back to the truth that God is above all. The one incident that is an anomaly was the magi finding Jesus (Matt 2).

 

There is a bit of a history lesson in this if you want to follow it through (http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/holidays/christmas/magi-wise-men-or-kings-its-complicated.html), but this is my conclusion. Number 24:17 shows us that there was a prophecy about Jesus coming, and refers to him as "a star" coming out of Jacob, and "a scepter" rising out of Israel. These magi probably knew this prophecy and was on the look out for the appearing of THE Star. It wasn't the stars that told the future or led the magi to Jesus. It was the recorded prophecy that led the magi to understand that there would be an anomaly in the heavens that would bring them to Jesus. Again, this shows that our hope must go back to God, and not placed anywhere else.

 

 

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