“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs (Genesis 1:14)?”
William Shakespeare wrote, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves, that we are underlings (Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2).” While this line belongs to Cassius, asserting that some men should overcome their sense of powerlessness over the course of their own lives and deny that their fate is determined by the stars, it should just as readily be directed to many younger Americans today. More and more millennials are turning away from their belief in God and to astrology, believing theit fates lie in the stars. (1) Kari Paul of the New York Post notes that astrology has been debunked in several academic studies but Bainu Guler, co-founder of an astrology app, states that “There is a belief vacuum (daily life goes on) with no semblance of meaning, … Astrology is a way out of it, …the lack of structure in the field is exactly what drives young, educated professionals to invest their time and money in the practice.” And business is booming these days for those capitalizing in the new paganism being practiced by those between the ages of 18-29 with money to invest in pagan boutiques and technology for their wares and services.
Men have always, in every age, nation, and level of intellect been worshippers of something or someone. (2) That some men profit from other’s pagan penchants is not new either (Acts 19:24-27). God understood men’s inclination to turn from worshipping Him and serving the starry hosts and warned His people sternly against this practice. “And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, and all the hosts of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage (Deuteronomy 4:19).” The stars were created by God to serve man rather than for man to serve them. (3)
Trying to worship God while simultaneously looking to the stars for purpose and meaning to one’s life is unacceptable to Jehovah. Stephen recounted the Jews failings in this regard, “You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, images which you made to worship (Acts 7:43).” Remphan was a term used for the Greek god Saturn. (4) Stephen, quoted from Amos 5:25-27, where God stated that their perfunctory sacrifices to Him were not acceptable whilst they also practiced paganism.
Some may complain that reading a horoscope and following the movement of the moon, stars, and planets is not paganism but they should consider that in doing so they are ascribing some meaning, power, and purpose for these objects greater than their self. Assigning such power, meaning, and purpose to any object rather than God is condemned. It should not be assumed that young Christians (or older for that matter) recognize that their belief in astrology and worship of God is acceptable. It was God who created the heavenly hosts (Genesis 1:14, Amos 5:8) and as a great artist who has authority to title his works, God numbered and named them (Psalm 147:4). They declare His handiwork and attest that the Creator is greater (Psalm 8:3). Ascribing power and purpose to any created thing instead of the Creator is a rejection of God (Romans 1:25-26).
There is an interesting side note from within the burgeoning cottage industry serving those devouring astrology and paganism. A rift among the peddlers of these products is perhaps emerging. Coco Layne, a devotee to Eastern medicine, resents some American merchants who profit from the religions from other cultures, lamenting; “It is really important to give credit to who is doing the work.”(1) Indeed! Should not God expect the same?
“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:21).”
- Simon Greenleaf, L.L.D., An Examination of the Four Evangelists, Suzeteo Enterprises, 2nd Ed. 1847, p.4
- James Burton Coffman Commentaries: Deuteronomy 4; Bible study Library CD-ROM, ACU Press
- David L. Roper, Truth For Today Commentary Acts 1-14, Resource Publications, 2001, p.263