What the heck is astrology and is there any reason to believe it?
Astrology is the belief that the position of the stars & planets somehow influence human lives. It begins at a person’s birth and continues throughout their life.
Important note: Astrology is NOT astronomy. While they were in the same category for much of recorded history, astronomy broke from astrology in the 1500’s. Astronomy is the scientific study of the universe. It makes no statement about affecting or predicting about peoples lives.
How does astrology work? A chart called a horoscope calculates the exact position of the heavenly bodies at a baby’s first breath. This permanently determines the baby’s character and destiny.
Basic astrological terms:
A) Zodiac…an imaginary 360 degree circle in the sky which contains the 12 zodiac ‘signs’. Each sign is 30 degrees. These signs are and the birth dates that they represent…
Virgo …8/23-9/22 Pisces…2/19-3/20
The sign you are is determined by your birth date.
- B) The “houses” are 12 other sections of the Zodiac that the planets move thru. As a planet moves thru a house, it further influences your life.
So your personality and your life is influenced by the zodiac sign you were born under and the particular planets, moon & sun moving thru the various ‘houses’ right now.
This is astrology in general. There are slightly different forms of it and some additional minor terms, depending on what astrologer you’re talking to.
From all of these things, an astrologer can work up a horoscope for you that will guide you in making decisions about your present and future life.
Where did astrology start?
There are some evidences of it in Mesopotamia (Sumer, Akkad, Assyria & ancient Babylon), especially during the reign of King Sargon of Akkad in 2334-2279 BC. But Babylon was the first place that had an organized system of astrology in about 1800 BC.
Does astrology work?
A) According to scientists….NO! There is absolutely no proof that the heavenly bodies affect your life in any measurable way. In 1975, 192 leading scientists, including 19 Nobel prize winners, publicly disavowed astrology.
B) There was a test done on 2,978 couples who got married and 478 couples who got divorced in 1967-1968. It compared couples who married under compatible signs and incompatible signs. It did the same for couples who got divorced. It found no correlation at all. Those who got married under compatible signs had the same divorce rate as those who got married under incompatible signs.
C) John McGerry did a study between a person’s sign and their chances of success in their chosen profession. His research was 2-fold. He compared 16,634 scientists and 6,475 politicians. There was no correlation between what astrologers said were career successful signs and how successful those people really were.
D) Another test involved 1,000 people who were examined for 33 variables including physical attractiveness, leadership ability, personality traits, social and religious beliefs, etc.
Their conclusion was that the test failed to show any correlation to their astrological signs versus these 33 traits.
There are also problems with astrology:
1…even among the best astrologers, there is little agreement as to the interpretation of a person’s horoscope chart. That’s because while there are some very general rules, there are no specific rules as to what a particular horoscope means. It just depends on which astrologer is interpreting it.
2…In fact, people cannot tell the difference between an astrological horoscope and one that has been deliberately reversed.
3…when astrology was invented, several thousand years ago, the signs contained certain constellations in them. These signs have never changed. But because of the earth’s precession of its axis, these constellations have changed. They have moved thru one whole sign. So someone who was born in August 2017 was not born under the same constellations as someone who was born in August 2,000 years ago. Since astrology has not changed signs, astrologers claim they were born under the same sign as someone born 2,000 years ago, but they really weren’t.
4…shouldn’t twins have the same personality, according to astrology? My Mom was an identical twin but her and my Aunt were very different personalities. Most twins do have different personalities.
5…many astrological predictions are so general that they’re almost meaningless. Very few predictions are negative. They’re almost all positive. Some are like fortune cookies. Who wouldn’t want to hear “You’re strong, you’re insightful, you’re highly intelligent, etc.” How many want to hear “You’re narrow-minded, negative and you hold a grudge?”
6…astrology cannot explain mass tragedies, like 9/11. People with a wide variety of horoscopes all perished on 9/11.
7…Even King Nebuchadnezzar’s astrologers realized the impotence of their craft in Daniel 2:10,11. Astrology subverts the natural use of that God intended them to be…to separate day from night and to mark the seasons, days & years (Genesis 1:14 and Isaiah 47:13-15 “All the council you have received has only worn you out. Let your astrologers come forward, those star gazers 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. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame…”).
Why do people like astrology?
– it offers people hope
– it offers them positive feedback
– it offers a way to manipulate people or events to get a desired outcome
– sometimes it gives somewhat specific council for what to do….like “Today is not a good day to travel”
– it offers hope that doesn’t require your changing anything about you…like not dealing with your anger problem or your patience problem or giving up a vice. It offers you hope without transforming or growing you.
– it wants you to look for guidance rather than look to God. It is a God-substitute. This makes it divination (looking to something other than God) and that makes it idolatry.
How popular is astrology today?
Very popular! According to a Harris poll…
– in 2009, 26% of Americans believe in it
– in 2013, 29% of Americans believe in it
– in 2009, 21% of born again Christians believed in it
– in a 2010 poll, 65& of Americans said astrology wasn’t scientific
– in a 2012 poll, 55% of Americans said it wasn’t scientific
Countries where astrology is most popular:
India, South Africa, Singapore, Canada, USA, Australia & Britain in this order.
Cities in the USA where astrology is the most popular:
New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
It’s interesting that all of these, except the 1st one, are all big cities that have universities in them.
What does the bible say about astrology?
– it condemns it (Isaiah 47:13-15)
– it says their predictions are worthless and will not substitute for God (Deuteronomy 4:19 17:1-5 18:9-11 2nd Kings 17:16 23:5 Jeremiah 8:2 9:13 Ezekiel 8:16 Amos 5:26,27
– God forbids occult practices as it leads to contact with evil spirits. Astrology is divination and that is occultic (Deuteronomy 18:9-13 1st Corinthians 10:20)
– it leads people away from looking to & trusting the Creator to trusting the creation. This is a form of idolatry
– astrologers teach many views of Christ, all of which are false. They may be sincere in their beliefs but they are sincerely wrong.
Were the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12 astrologers? How does that square with the bible’s condemnation of astrology?
Yes, the Magi or wise men, were astrologers. But we need to understand who ‘astrologers’ were in ancient times. Ancient astrologers were educated men that Kings employed. They were scientists, government officials, astrologers (in the modern sense), and emissaries of Kings. Remember astronomy didn’t become separate from astrology until the 1500’s AD. So some ancient astrologers were what we would call astronomers.
Daniel, from the biblical book of Daniel, was a ‘wise man’ in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court (Daniel 1:1-5, 17-21) but it’s obvious that he wasn’t an astrologer. He was a man of science & learning (Daniel 1:3,4). Since God gave Daniel supernatural dreams and visions, could He have given him what the night sky would look like when the Messiah would be born?
There was a sizable Jewish population in Babylon in Daniel’s day. Could Daniel have passed on this information to his Jewish friends who worked with him? This information could have been passed down thru the generations to the wise men that Matthew mentioned? And Babylon is east of Israel. This would mean that Matthew’s wise men were Jewish or at least they believed what Daniel had passed down about the birth of a Jewish King. At least one bible scholar believes this may have happened….William Barclay.
This would explain how ‘astrologers’ could have announced the birth of God’s Messiah without practicing what God condemns so often in the bible.
Variations of this theory are at the following websites:
www.qty.org/library/sermons-library/2182/who-were-the-wise-men this is a long but very good article.
Astrology fails as a scientific method of giving people any sort of rational guidance. It is not rational or logical.
We don’t need to look to the stars for guidance when we can look to the One who created those stars.
For His Kingdom,