Reasons to Believe

Astrology: Help, Hoax, or Harm?

To unravel any possible confusion over what astrology is, I would like to begin by establishing what it is not. First, astrology is not science, though a number of its adherents claim it to be.

How can I make such a strong statement? Consider the following points: Astrology

  • bases horoscopes on the moment of birth, not the moment of conception when, in fact, one's genetic characteristics are fixed;
  • ignores the gravitational forces of non-solar system bodies (e.g., the pull of gravity by the obstetrician on a newborn child is about six times greater than that of Mars);
  • treats the various nuclear, magnetic, and gravitational forces exerted by solar system bodies (e.g., the sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc.) as if they were of the same magnitude. In reality, differences of many orders of magnitude were long ago verified by research;
  • ignores significant solar system bodies, e.g., Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, asteroids, comets;
  • fails to take into account tidal forces, also gravitational differences resulting from the irregular shape of some solar system bodies;
  • ignores the motion of the sun with respect to other stars and with respect to the center of the galaxy;
  • ignores the wobble in the earth's rotation axis, which by now has shifted the astrological sun signs by one or two constellations (making a typical Leo in reality a Gemini);
  • omits two constellations along the ecliptic (the "path" of the planets and other bodies in our solar system);
  • fails to provide conclusive evidence of a direct causal link between celestial positions or "aspects" and human personality and interactions.

All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up.

Isaiah 47:13-14 (NIV)

For these and many other reasons, 186 leading astronomers and physicists signed a statement published in a 1975 issue of Humanist magazine denouncing astrology as having "no scientific foundation whatever."

Second, astrology cannot be considered a harmless pastime. To claim so is as big a mistake as calling it a scientific discipline. Astrology does, indeed, produce certain effects in devotees' lives, and the prophecies it generates may be occasionally or partially accurate. For some individuals its personality profiles may seem fairly precise too. Where real power is in evidence, it is supernatural; however, it cannot be considered good or even neutral. Why not? Consider these points from both Biblical and empirical studies:

1) Many astrological forecasts become self-fulfilling; people are tempted to make them come true by their decisions and actions. Thus individuals open themselves to the influence of a "force" (really a mind or a personality) outside their reason and conscience. When this force contradicts what is real or right or best, harmful conflicts can and do result.

2) As individuals consent to receive revelations and guidance through an astrologer or medium, they come increasingly under the control of that medium. They may be lured into becoming a medium. In any case, numerous studies show that the ultimate impact of involvement in astrology includes a loss of ability to trust and care for others, repeated and severe sieges of suicidal depression, and debilitating fear.

The Lord said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites:... 'I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people."'

Leviticus 20:la, 6 (NIV)

3) Individuals who open themselves to the influence of astrology expose themselves not only to the consequences described above but also to God's judgment, clearly pronounced in the Bible against those who consult mediums.

4) Tragically, individuals who accept the influence of astrology into their lives miss out on the blessings and benefits of a relationship with the God of the universe-a relationship established through Jesus Christ alone.

Unlike astrologers' revelations, God's revelations in His Word are 100 percent accurate. Dependence on God and His Word lead to ever increasing love, joy, peace, faith, hope, and other desirable qualities (see Galatians 5:22), plus the countless delights of eternity with Him.

Since the Scriptures make clear that God's wrath will fall on anyone who practices astrology or seriously listens to astrologers, what about the Christian who becomes involved? Many Christians I know have listened to astrologers or toyed with astrology out of ignorance, unaware that they were flirting with evil. On discovering the true nature of astrology, they at once repudiated their former involvement. God completely forgives such individuals and protects them from any further consequences.

For the Christian who, despite Biblical injunctions, refuses to renounce astrology, we have the words of Jesus (Matthew 6:24): "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.

Deuteronomy 18:10, 11 (NIV)

Paul reiterates this warning in 1 Corinthians 10:21: "You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too." In other words, there is reason to question a person's commitment to Christ, and hence that individual's salvation, if he or she refuses to sever any and all connection with astrology.

To the believer who rebels in this matter, Paul gave a more specific warning in 1 Corinthians 10:9: "We should not test the Lord, as some of them [the Israelites] did-and were killed by snakes." Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 4:32-5:11) serve as New Testament examples of the severity of God's loving discipline.

... Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.. .. Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear....

Hebrews 4:14; Jude 22-23 (NIV)

Subjects: Life on Other Planets, Mars, Panspermia, Prebiotic Chemistry, Primordial Soup

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.