Question from a Site Viewer
Tim, what is your testimony? And how are you living out your faith today, with the exception of your awesome web-based ministry at truthsaves.org?
Another question. Do you think there are any godly uses of astrology? I have this Christian friend that is quite into it to the point that he feels that he can have someone figured out on the basis of whether or not they are a Capricorn or a Scorpio, etc. For example, if he knows someone that is a Capricorn, and they do something that is very “Capricornish”, he’ll say that it is so because that person is a Capricorn. To go more deeply, he believes that astronomy has a lot to do with how a person is going to turn out in terms of character and personality. What do you think about this? What is the biblical support for this? Is this something I should confront him about?
You can read the short version of my testimony here.
As for living out my faith, I try to follow the admonition of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12. I often have people staying with me in my house and have long tried to help the less fortunate, including those bound up in the bondage of drugs of damaging lifestyles. I host a Bible study on Wednesdays every week and rotate hosting a second Bible study on Friday nights. I teach in both studies. I am part of the teaching core for adult education at the church I attend. And I work full-time in a secular job so that I might have the ability to help others as well.
As to your question on astrology, there is no passage in the New Testament that directly mentions astrology. As for the Old Testament, in many translations, Hebrew and Aramaic words in the book of Daniel are translated as “astrologers” (Daniel 1:20; 2:10, 27; 4:7; 5:7, 11, 15); however, the words being translated may have a more general meaning of conjurer or enchanter. It is not evident to me that astrologers are in mind in these passages, although perhaps they are. I note that over time the Aramaic word used in Daniel 2, 4, and 5 began to represent astrology. It is possible that at Daniel’s time, it also had this meaning. I simply have not seen any strong evidence of this.
Again, in the Deuteronomy passage that generally forbids Israel from taking on the abominations of fortune tellers, the list of words does not expressly include a word known to refer to astrologers (Deuteronomy 18:9-14). There is a clear warning not to listen to soothsayers and diviners.
The one Biblical passage that seems most directly to address astrology is Isaiah 47:13. There, those who are astrologers (literally those who divine the heavens to give counsel), those who are stargazers (literally those who are seers of the stars or those who gain wisdom from the stars), and those who are monthly prognosticators (literally those who gain knowledge from the lunar cycle) are said to be as stubble to be burned. These are all linked to enchanters and sorcerers (see Isaiah 47:12). We know from Scripture that when something is linked to enchanters and sorcerers, it is not positive from God’s point of view. Earlier, in Isaiah, the LORD makes the statement that a people should seek their God, and not mediums and wizards (Isaiah 8:19).
Scripture speaks often about the stars and mentions some of the constellations by name. Scripture does not support a position that the constellations influence the lives of people on earth. The stars and constellations were given for signs for the times and seasons; that is, they mark the seasons of the year and the passage of time. Scripture does not support the use of astrology.
Thus, I think it is safe to conclude that Jesus does not call us to astrology. The only clear statement about astrology in Scripture is quite negative.
My advice would be to encourage your friend to turn the focus from astrology to Christ. Help him to see that he should be viewing people from Christ’s perspective, not from astrology’s perspective. And the love of his life should be Jesus, not astrology. Astrology ultimately cannot save; its predictive power is empty (there have been no scientific studies showing that astrology is able to predict matters with any statistical significance); and it takes time and focus away from Jesus.
I hope this helps.