In 1984 a survey was conducted in America in an attempt to determine the current level of interest in astrology. The results were staggering-it was estimated that approximately 60 million Americans read or depend on horoscopes on a daily basis. That’s about one-fourth of the entire population of the country! In another Gallup poll, it was estimated that approximately one-fifth of all adults in the United States believe in astrology and that 80% of adults can tell you their astrological sign.
If you guessed that It must take a virtual army of astrologers to keep all these readers informed about their daily fates, you’re right. According to one recent estimate, over 10,000 people are employed full-time in astrology in the United States. When you add to that figure the estimated 200,000 part-timers employed in astrology, you begin to see that it truly is a big business. When one considers the yearly sales of over 1 million astrology magazines, as well as the sales of countless astrology-oriented t-shirts, jewelry, key chains and other paraphernalia, you begin to realize the magnitude of this enterprise.
What is astrology? How do astrologers predict your future using the stars? Is astrology scientific, or is it based on ancient superstitions? Isn’t it all right for Christians to engage in this apparently harmless pastime? In this tract we will attempt to answer these and other questions.
Astrology originated with the pagans of ancient Babylon more than 5,000 years ago. These people were polytheists, which means that they beloved in numerous gods” who they thought controlled the Eves and fortunes of men. Among the heavenly bodes visible in the night sky, the planets were thought to be five such gods: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were unknown to these people). Each of these planets was believed to be associated with some aspect of lit.. A well-known example would be the association of Venus with our love life.
These people also held a “geocentric” view of the universe--that is, the earth was thought to be the center of the universe and the sun, moon, planets and stars were believed to revolve around the earth.
The Babylonians noticed that the planets moved around 12 groupings of stars (or “constellations”) while these constellations appeared to remain in stable positions. Since the planets were believed to be “gods”, this implied a great importance to these constellations. Moreover, since these “gods” were involved in governing the fates of men and nations, the interactions of the planets and constellations took on a personal importance for everyone. The Babylonians noticed that these constellations resembled animals (the word “zodiac” means “circle of animals”) or other shapes and named them accordingly: Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the Crab, Leo the Lion, Virgo the Virgin, Libra the Scales, Scorpio the Scorpion, Sagittarius the Archer, Capricorn the Goat, Aquarius the Water Bearer, and Pisces the Fish.
Astrologers are concerned with the constellations that appear in the path (defined as a belt extending for 8 degrees on either side of the apparent path) of the sun as it "moves" across the sky. According to astrologers, a person’s character and attitudes are determined by the sign he or she is born under. Dedicated astrologers will go to great pains to determine the exact time and geographical location of a persons birth. This is necessary because the exact positions of all the heavenly bodies in relation to each other are required for ones horoscope to be computed accurately. The geographical location of ones birth needs to be known since the angles of the planets in relation to the earth are also necessary to compute the horoscope.
Astrology-Errors and Absurdities
Despite the (somewhat) scientific appearance of astrology, with its concern for planetary and solar movements, precision in determining the time and location of birth, etc., astrology is far from being a science. Recently, a panel of 186 prominent scientists, including 18 Nobel Prize winners, spoke out against the “pretentious claims of astrological charlatans”, saying, among other things, that there is no scientific basis whatsoever for the belief that the stars foretell events and influence lives. [NOTE: Readers should be careful to distinguish between “astrology”, which is an occultic practice based on ancient pagan beliefs, and “astronomy”, which is a science concerned with the origin, composition, motion, size, position, etc. of stars, planets and other heavenly bodies.]
Astrology suffers from a large number of logical and factual errors and absurdities which should lead any thinking person to reject it for the pagan superstition it is. We will examine only a few of these problems in this tract. Readers can probably come up with a number of other such problems on their own.
2. Unknown Planets.
5. Twins. Another source of embarrassment for astrologers is the birth of twins. Since they are born at the same time and place they should have the same destiny. This is obviously not the case and in fact, many twins turn out very different from one another and lead totally different lives. Also, what does astrology do with the case where one of the twins dies shortly after birth, but the other lives a long life?
No discussion of the inaccuracies of astrology would be complete without discussing Jeanne Dixon, one of the most notable people connected with astrology today. Despite a number of well-publicized accurate predictions she has made, we cannot ignore the larger number of incorrect predictions which have been made by Mrs. Dixon. Among her false predictions: the overthrow of Castro in Cuba, that World War III would begin in 1954 and the Vietnam war would end in 1966. One of her most memorable false predictions occurred on Oct. 19, 1968, when she predicted that Jacqueline Kennedy was not thinking of marriage. The very next day, Mrs. Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis.
A Biblical View of Astrology
Astrology is clearly condemned in the Bible. In Deut. 4:19 we read: "And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them..." The Lord clearly prohibited His people from participation in any occultic practices, including astrology, in Deut. 18. In Jeremiah 10:2 the Lord says. “Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens, although the nations are terrified by them.” In particular, we are not to be afraid of those who, like Mrs. Dixon, prophecy in a false manner: “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut 1822).
The basic idea of astrology is a direct affront to the Holy Spirit, since it teaches that our lives are to be guided and controlled by the stars. The Bible, on the other hand, says the Lord guides us (Psalm 37:23) through the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).
Finally, those who would “dabble” in astrology, thinking it is harmless should remember the Lord’s admonition to His people concerning adopting pagan practices: “You shall be blameless before the Lord your God” (Deut. 18:13).
Larson, B. Larsons Book of Cults. Tyndale
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