What is wrong with astrology?

This article is from Hank Hanegraaff, The Complete Bible Answer Book—Collector’s Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2008)
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As Charles Strohmer has well said, “Astrology has been debunked more than the tooth fairy and cheered more than the Pope.” Despite the fact that it is denounced by Scripture, debunked by science, and demonstrably superstitious, humankind’s fascination with astrology continues unabated. While multitudes view astrology as a harmless pastime, in reality it is a rigged “game” replete with self-validating prophecies and a dangerous form of divination.

First, Scripture clearly condemns astrology as a practice that is “detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:10–12). Isaiah goes so far as to say that the counsel of the “astrologers” and “stargazers who make predictions month by month” not only wore out the Babylonians but could not save them from their future ruin (Isaiah 47:13–14). Despite the clear condemnation of Scripture, there are those who maintain that there is a biblical precedent for using stars to chart the future. As a case in point, they cite the star guiding the Magi to the Messiah. However, a quick look at context reveals that this star was not used to foretell the future but to forth tell the future. In other words, the star of Bethlehem did not prophesy the birth of Christ; it pronounced the birth of Christ (Matthew 2:9–10).

Furthermore, science has debunked astrology as a pseudoscience based on the odd predilection that galaxies rather than genes determine inherited human characteristics. Not only so, astrology cannot account for the problem posed by mass tragedies and twins. People with a wide variety of horoscopes all perished on 9/11/2001. And twins born under the same sign of the zodiac frequently end up with widely diverse futures. Even King Nebuchadnezzar’s astrologers recognized the impotence of their craft. When Nebuchadnezzar asked them to remind him of his dream and then interpret it, they responded in terror, saying, “No man on earth can do what the king asks!” (Daniel 2:10)

Finally, astrology subverts the natural use of the stars, which God ordains, for a superstitious use, which he disdains. Genesis 1:14 points to the natural use of the stars to separate the day from the night, to serve as signs that mark seasons, days, and years, and to illuminate the earth. They also can rightly be used for varied purposes ranging from navigation to natural revelation. Thus, sailors may use astronavigation to chart their course; however, saints may not use astrology to chart their careers.

For further study, see Charles R. Strohmer, America’s Fascination with Astrology: Is it Healthy? (Greenville, South Carolina: Emerald House, 1998).


“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. . . . Each of them goes on in his error;
there is not one that can save you.”

Isaiah 47:13–15

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