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Is Astrology A Sin For Christians? The Bible On Astrology

Astrology in early Christianity

The history of astrology dates back to the Babylonians in 1800 BC. In recent times there has been a huge surge in the practice of the occult arts such as astrology and tarot. With astrology becoming so popular and a part of people’s life it is not uncommon to be asked what one’s sign is. Newspapers and magazines devote a column to the daily or weekly astrological forecast usually for the sun sign of a person. Some people take this very seriously and others as entertainment.  Most Christians though are unaware of what the Bible has to say about astrology. And the Bible has plenty to say on the topic especially on astrology in early Christianity.

Astrology In Daily Life

Astrology is the study and interpretation of the positions and movements of the planets. An astrologer casts a birth chart for a person that shows the positions of the planets at the time of the birth of that person. The astrologer then interprets this chart in different ways. Some people use astrology as a tool to learn and understand themselves better. Others are more interested in the predictive aspect of astrology and consult astrologers to study their birth charts as well as the transits of the planets to foretell events and happenings. 

The Twelve Astrological Signs
The Twelve Astrological Signs

The Bible And Creation Of The Stars

The first reference to astrology in early Christianity is in the book of Genesis. The book of Genesis states that the stars in the heavens are all the creations of God. God created the Sun and the Moon as lights in the sky to govern the day and the night. The Bible allows us to study the stars in the sky to keep track of the days, years and sacred times. This implies studying the sky to time the seasons. So, the Bible permits Christians to study the stars for astronomical and calendar purposes only.

God created the stars to be distinctly splendorous and unique. He named them individually and also arranged the constellations. The constellations of the Pleiades, Orion, the Bear (Ursa Major), and The Crooked Serpent (Draco) find mention in the Bible. However, it is also mentioned that it is God who brings them forth and fastens their belts. 

Picture of the  Pleiades
Picture of the Pleiades

In the book of Genesis, God promises Abraham innumerable seed and illustrates his promise in the stars in the sky. Abraham looks to the skies to see the reminder of God’s faithfulness to his promise. The Bible verses in praise of God also praise the heavens and the stars that He created. There are also mentions of God’s people standing out like shining stars amongst others. 

God Promised Abraham Innumerable Seed Illustrated In The Stars
God Promised Abraham Innumerable Seed Illustrated In The Stars

The Star Of Bethlehem and Astronomical Omens

The Bible tells us that the three Magi followed the star of Jerusalem that led them to the newborn Baby Jesus. There are also astronomical phenomena that are mentioned in predictions relating to the final judgement especially in the book of Revelations.

Adoration Of The Magi - The Star Of Bethlehem Is Depicted As A Comet
Adoration Of The Magi – The Star Of Bethlehem Is Depicted As A Comet

Bible’s Opinion On The Occult And Astrology

Astrology A Sin For Christians: Worship Of Stars

The practice of worship of the stars was prevalent in Biblical times. The Bible gives ample warnings against the worship of the stars. It praises the stars but warns that they are not to be worshipped as they are merely the creations of God. We should worship the God who created the stars. Worshipping the stars amounts to idolatry. There are instances in the Old Testament where the people of Israel fall prey to the idolatry and worship of the heavens instead of God himself and they are punished for the same. Astrology, however, does not fall under the category of worship of the stars.

The Bible On Occult Practices

The Bible specifically mentions occult practices that are to be avoided and they are ordeals and trials by fire, divination, witchcraft, interpretation of omens, spiritists, mediums and one who communicates with the dead. Astrology in early Christianity is also divination and the interpretation of omens.

There are specific Bible verses that mention astrology in early Christianity. The book of Isiah, predicts the fall of Babylon. It says that the astrologers will not be able to save themselves or the people. They will burn like chaff.

The Bible On Mediums

The Bible frowns upon the use of mediums. King Saul went covertly to a medium when he was uncertain about his decisions. God punishes Saul for his error. The Bible states that he paid the price for his sin with his life. It would have been better for him to have relied on God and to have put his trust in him instead of using a medium to contact Samuel who was already dead.

Painting Depicting The Death Of Saul
Painting Depicting The Death Of Saul

In Micah 5:12 the Bible condemns fortunetellers. This would include those who tell fortunes by means of cards, tea leaves and other such methods of divination including astrology.

In Deuteronomy 29:29 the Bible states that all the things that we are to know are revealed to us by God. The secret things belong to God. In other words, the things that are not directly revealed to us are not for us to know. Therefore the followers of Christianity don’t believe in astrology.