This article is written with the intention of educating Christians about the dangers of following horoscopes. There are many Christians today that are currently signed up to receive daily horoscopes by email. If you do follow horoscopes, I hope that after you have finished reading this to the end, you would have been persuaded to cease from doing so. By the time you finish reading, I would have answered the following questions: Should Christians take astrology and horoscopes seriously? What is the origin of astrology and the signs of the Zodiac? Can stars and planets be used to accurately predict the future and give character analysis and advice? Why do people read their horoscopes? Are they scientifically accurate? What do the Scriptures say, and should Christians believe in astrology? There are many things observed by Christians all over the world that has no theological foundation or biblical basis for its practice. Sad to say, some of those practices have deep roots in paganism and occultism.
The problem with Christianity today is that we do too many things without a proper understanding of what we are engaging in. Among those practices is the reading and following of horoscopes. I cannot count how many times I have been asked this question by both young as well as seasoned Christians in the faith. Most of us, particularly those of us that did not grow up in church, have read horoscopes at one time or another. I can remember growing up as a teenager in high school, I religiously followed the horoscope. At that time internet was not as prominent as it is today, but horoscopes could be found in every local daily newspaper. The fact is that many people, especially young people, are fascinated by all aspects of the Occult. You, your friends, your children, and their friends, at some time or another will all have contact with Occult influences, including astrology. It’s even in thefamous fortune cookie that comes with your Chinese food. You need to know what the Bible says. Many Christians are not aware of what is involved. But you will meet people who dabble in it and others who take it seriously. As popular as it is, some in the church will be influenced. We need to know whether or not we should participate. We need to know how to approach those who are involved to show them what the Bible says. In order to compare astrology to the Bible, we must first understand what it is. Please do not be shaken by these words, but I am about to show you how following horoscopes is deeply rooted in Astrology, Witchcraft, and Satanism. So we will begin by describing astrology, then we will see what the Bible says.
According to Wikipedia.com, “A horoscope is an astrological chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, astrological aspects, and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person’s birth. The word horoscope is derived from Greek words meaning “a look at the hours” (horoskopos, pl. horoskopoi, or “marker(s) of the hour.”)” The Bible has much to say about the stars. Most basic to our understanding of the stars is that God created them. They show His power and majesty. The heavens are God’s “handiwork” (Psalm 8:3; 19:1). He has all the stars numbered and named. Since we will be discussing the stars in this article, I want to avoid any possible confusion by clarifying the difference between astronomy and astrology.
Astronomy vs. Astrology
Astronomy is the science of studying the movements and positions of planets and stars. For example, the North Star never moves. Knowing where the North Star is has helped captains of ships sail the seven seas of the earth for centuries. God created the stars and He calls them by name” (Psalm 147:4). Again according to Wikipedia.com, “Astronomy is a natural science that is the study of celestial objects (such as moons, planets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies), the physics, chemistry, mathematics, and evolution of such objects, and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth, including supernovae explosions, gamma ray bursts, and cosmic background radiation.” The Bible also teaches that God arranged the stars into recognizable groups that we call constellations. The Bible mentions three of these: Orion, the Bear (Ursa Major), and “the crooked serpent” (most likely Draco) in Job 9:9;26:13;38:31-32; and Amos 5:8. Those same passages also reference the star group Pleiades (the Seven Stars). God is the one who “fastens the bands” of these constellations; He is the One who brings them forth, “each in its season.” In Job 38:32, God also points to the “Mazzaroth,” usually translated “constellations.” This is thought by many to be a reference to the twelve constellations of the zodiac.
On the contrary, Astrology consists of several systems of divination based on the premise that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and the Indians, Chinese, and Mayans developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. In the West, astrology most often consists of a system of horoscopes that claim to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun, moon, and other celestial objects at the time of their birth. Astrology is essentially the worship of the stars, which is occultic and pagan. People who make choices based on the stars are seeking guidance for their lives from things created rather than from the Creator Himself. It is clearly of violation of the word of God. (Rom 1:20, 21; Exodus 20:4). Now take a look at the striking similarities in the definition of these words.
“Horoscope” is a chart of the position of the heavenly bodies, used to predict their influence on people’s lives.
“Astrology” is “the ancient art or science of divining the fate and future of human beings from indications given by the positions of the stars and other heavenly bodies” – Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 2, p. 575, 1956. It assumes that our lives are largely influenced (though not completely determined) by the position and movement of heavenly bodies.
“Zodiac” is a narrow strip or belt of the heavens in which the sun, moon, and principle planets appear as the earth revolves around the sun. This zone is divided into twelve sections, each of which contains a constellation (group of stars) for which that section has been named. Each of these 12 constellations is called a “sign of the Zodiac.” Whatever section the sun could be found in at the time of year when a person is born, that section is said to be the sign under which that person was born.
“Occult” is defined as: “magic, astrology, and other alleged sciences claiming use or knowledge of secret, mysterious, or supernatural agencies” – Random House College Dictionary. Other occult practices include witchcraft and sorcery, Satanism, spiritualism, fortune-telling, and psychics.
By definition, astrology is part of the occult. It is associated with hosts of other practices that are specifically condemned in Scripture. However, in today’s era of generalized horoscopes, most Christians do not use astrology as a way to predict major events. However, our society is increasingly accepting pagan concepts. Since astrology is essentially pagan, we should not be surprised to see it becoming more popular. Specifically, astrology interests modern Americans for these reasons:
- Astrology attempts to predict the future.
- People are always fascinated by the future. This is especially true when the future looks bleak (economic problems, war, family problems).
- Astrology claims to analyze one’s character. People love to hear what others say about them, especially if they think no one pays attention to them. When people feel like a number in a crowd, anything that emphasizes individual character makes them feel important.
- Astrology gives advice for guiding ones life. People seek solutions to their problems: advice for business deals and financial investments, marriage and family problems, etc. This is why advice columns and self-help books are so popular. Especially when times are troubled, astrology purports to offer solutions and guidance.
- Astrology offers an explanation for life. People wonder why things happen the way they do, and what is the meaning of life. Astrology claims to explain the determining forces behind what’s happening.
- Astrology offers a unique experience and a sense of being special. People are often bored with life. Their jobs and lives are routine. Anything different or unique fascinates them. In short, people pursue astrology for many of the same reasons people seek cults and other aspects of the Occult.
What does the Bible say?
The Bible teaches that the primary purpose of the stars, moon, and sun is to give light to the Earth. God made two great lights, the sun, and the moon, to shine down upon the earth. He also made the stars. God sent these lights in the heavens to light the earth” (Genesis 1:16-17).However, the stars can be quite useful, as in the case of the wise men needing to find the baby Jesus. In this case, God used the star to light the way. Nonetheless, God is the one who gives us guidance and the only one that knows the future. The Bible is actually quite critical of astrologers, asserting that they cannot save people as God can. In Isaiah, the Bible points to this issue when God proclaims that Doom will come to Babylon and there is nothing the astrologists can do to save the people from it. “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. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by”(Isaiah 47:13).
A. Astrology Is False Prophecy.
By definition, astrology attempts to predict the future. Are its predictions accurate?
Astrology is unreliable.
Daniel 4:7; (2:10,11; 5:7,8) – On three occasions astrologers and other occult experts were asked to predict the future. Every time they failed but Daniel succeeded by God’s power.
God forbids His people to place serious confidence in astrology.
Deuteronomy 18:9-14,18-22 – Occult practices, including divination, are an abomination to God. V14 specifically forbids listening to diviners. “Divining” is attempting to predict the future by occult or mystical methods. Astrology is a part of the occult and attempts to predict the future. Therefore by definition, astrology constitutes occult divination, which God forbids. Vv 21,22 – If one claims to know the future, but his predictions do not come true, do not fear him! The Bible shows that astrologers cannot predict the future with certainty, and most astrologers will admit their predictions are often incorrect. Even the ones that are sometimes accurate about the past, it’s because they are conjuring up familiar spirits that gives them information they could not of known otherwise. 2 Kings 17:16-18 – God destroyed Israel for practicing idolatry, worshiping “the host of heaven” (stars and planets), using “divination,” “witchcraft,” and “soothsaying” and other occult practices. Following horoscopes is no different to visiting a Psychic parlor or calling Ms. Cleo for advice. Jeremiah 10:2 – God’s people were expressly forbidden to be concerned about the “signs of heaven,” that heathen people trusted in. This clearly includes astrology. God’s people were not to learn their ways! The Old Testament clearly says that the future cannot be predicted accurately by the stars. If it could not be done then, it cannot be done now. To place trust in such methods is to learn the ways of the heathen, which is just as wrong now as it was then. [Ezek. 21:21; 12:24; 13:6-9,23; 21:29; 22:28; Isaiah 44:24,25; Acts 16:16-19; Jer. 27:9,10; 14:14; Mic. 3:6-11; Zech. 10:2]
B. Astrology Is a False Standard of Guidance.
Astrology attempts to advise people how to act, based on the position of the stars, etc. So people “trust their lucky stars” and “thank their lucky stars.” They seek guidance from some Occult source rather than God. As I mentioned above, in Isaiah 47:13, 14 – Babylon originated astrology. God promised to destroy Babylon, and then asked what the astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators would do to stop Him. All these were involved in astrology, but they were powerless against God. Daniel 1:19, 20 – Daniel and friends were ten times better in giving wisdom and guidance than all the Babylonian magicians and astrologers. Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-20 – Having forbidden the occult (including astrology) (vv 9-14), God predicted a spokesman like Moses whom we should listen to. This refers to Jesus (Acts 3:22, 23). One who speaks differently from His message should die. The teachings of Jesus provide all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and every good work (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Why then do we need astrology? Bible writers reveal true wisdom to guide your life. Astrologers may occasionally guess right, but the Bible is always on point. Yet some Christians will read their horoscope every day, but will go days, weeks, and even months without opening the Bible.
C. Astrology Is a Form of Idolatry.
Astrology originally involved direct worship of heavenly bodies.
Deuteronomy 4:15-19 – God warns His people not to worship idols, including the sun, moon, and stars – called the “host of heaven.” 2 Kings 21:1-3 – The evil king Manasseh practiced idolatry, worshiped the host of heaven, and otherwise participated in the Occult (v6). 2 Kings 23:5 – When Josiah became king, he removed idolatry, including worship of the sun, moon, the constellations, and host of heaven. “Constellations” (NKJV) = “the Zodiac” or the “12 signs”. Astrology from its very beginning was a form of idolatry forbidden by God. [Deuteronomy 17:2-5; Amos 5:25,26; Acts 7:42,43; Deut. 13:1-5; Jer. 19:13; Zeph. 1:5] Astrology today still substitutes heavenly bodies for God. It is possible to practice idolatry without intentionally performing the worship rituals. Coveting, for example, is idolatry (Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5). Idolatry is anything that puts created things in the position that only God should occupy. The Bible teaches that no one but God can predict our future lives. James 4:14 – Man does not know what will happen tomorrow. Proverbs 27:1 – You don’t know what a day may bring forth. Daniel 2:27,28 – Astrologers could not interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, but God could do so. The same was true when Pharaoh’s Astrologers and Diviners could not interpret his dreams but God did through Joseph.
The Bible teaches that only God can give rules for moral and spiritual guidance of our lives. Isaiah 8:19,20 – Do not seek occult teachers, but seek God. Where do you find His will? It’s only in the law (word) of God. When people teach us to seek spiritual guidance from sources other than God’s word (as the occult does), there is no light in them. Everything that astrology claims to accomplish is fulfilled for Christians through Jesus Christ and His word. The true meaning of life is revealed only in God’s word, not in Occult appeals to other forces. The true understanding of your character and what kind of person you should seek to become can be found in God’s word, not in the Occult. The best way to prepare for the future is found in God’s word. It may not tell everything people want to know about the future, but it tells everything we need to know. It is the only sure way to know what God plans for the future, especially life after death. All true spiritual needs of the believer are met through God and His word. Why look elsewhere? To seek answers in astrology is to show a lack of faith in God and to turn instead to heathen idolatry. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 – “Let us abstain from every form (appearance) of evil.”