Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Christians and Astrology Mix Like Oil and Water

In my area, I will occasionally pass by houses with signs out front proclaiming "spiritual advisors," usually surrounded by symbols, such as crosses, palms, stars, crystals, etc. I also run into people online who boldly claim that they see no contradiction between a Christian profession and being, or consulting, an astrologer. After all, they proudly proclaim, God gave the stars as "signs" (Genesis 1:14).

Yet, somehow, they blank out what kind of signs (Genesis 1:14-15): "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth'" Notice that there is no divination mentioned here. No materialistic fatalism. Rather, the stars, sun, and moon are to give light and serve as signs of the calendar. How were pre-technological men to know when to plant their crops or move their livestock to seasonal pastures? By the seasons as marked by, not astrology, but by astronomy.

In fact, the Scriptures explicitly speak against astrology as a pagan practice (Jeremiah 10:2-3): "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are vanity." Not just a pagan practice, a form of syncretism, but a vain pagan practice, i. e., one without benefit! I cannot but help to point to the example of Jacob and Esau. As twins, they were born under the same astrological circumstances. Yet, as their history demonstrates, they became very different men, and their lives had very different paths and outcomes.

If the stars didn't produce the different lives these two men lived, what did? The Bible, not the stars, gives the answer: "Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of Him who calls— she was told, 'The older will serve the younger.' As it is written, 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated'" (Romans 9:11-13). What made the difference was election, God's sovereign grace, which chose Jacob but not Esau. Do you see? It isn't the stars that determine our fate, but God!

That is why astrology, no matter how baptized with Christian symbols or terminology, can never be compatible with the Christian faith. They are based on mutually-exclusive worldviews, one a form of materialistic fatalism, the other on an unreservedly sovereign God. If the stars are in control, then God is not. If God is in control, not only are the stars not, but rather they are the servants of His purposes of goodness (Matthew 5:45).

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