14 Hard Facts about Astrology

astrology-false
Astrological chart

Astrology is an ancient practice that assumes that the position of the planets and stars has a direct influence upon people and events.

The chart that seeks to make one’s life’s pattern based on the position of the stars and planets at the time of one’s birth is known as a horoscope.

It’s not uncommon to find horoscope readings in magazines and websites, including the social media. Rene Noorbergen explains how these horoscopes are charted:

“For every personal horoscope, the moment of birth is the essential starting point. This, coupled with the latitude and longitude of the individual’s birthplace, provides the initial package for the usual astrological chart.

“While this is elementary, it is not complete; a factor known as ‘true local time’ must also be considered … Once this has been accomplished, the next step is to convert this ‘true’ time into ‘sidereal’ or star time. This is done with the aid of an ephemerus, a reference book showing the positions of the planets in relationship to the earth.” [1]

Some of these “readings” on the Internet have fascinating headings like “What does your Birth Month say about you?”

There are two popular types of predictive astrology: natal astrology and mundane astrology. Natal (or genetheliacal) astrology makes a predictions based on a person’s character, present situation or future outlook beginning with a birth date.

Mundane astrology usually makes a prediction on a larger scale for a national, civil, or political leadership future.

Many New Age teachers repackage astrology by integrating it with their particular teachings in the Aquarian Age (named after a zodiac sign). They adopt pseudoscientific jargon and hawk their books as well as astrological jewelry, charms and emblems to millions of followers who thirst for the murky waters of mysticism. [2]

Having been stumped by lack of scientific evidence of planetary influence on man, the new school of astrology has now adopted new interpretations for their practice.

Initially, “it was assumed that some kind of emanations issued from heavenly bodies to affect the characters and destinies of men. When scientists found no emanations powerful enough, sophisticated astrologers abandoned causality altogether and eagerly embraced Jung’s theory of ‘synchronicity’ – that everything in the universe at any given moment participates through that moment with everything else that shares the same unit of time.” [3]

This shifting of grounds notwithstanding, astrology is so fraught with scientific, moral, logical and theological problems that it will require those adhering to it to renounce reality, abjure reason and deny hard facts in order to follow it.

The Problems of Astrology

1. Astrology is “based on the zodiac, the path through which the sun, moon and planets move through the sky.” This celestial band is divided into 12 “signs” or constellations. [4]

But here is the big problem: this whole concept of the sun revolving about the earth assumes a geocentric universe in which the earth is the centre of the solar system.

The idea of a geocentric universe was first conceived by Claudius Ptolemy (c. 150), an Egyptian astronomer of Alexandria. But his model of the planetary system has been falsified by the heliocentric cosmology of Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei which proved that the planets revolve around the sun.

Astrology, however, is based on the the erroneous geocentric theory which destroys its reliability.

If an astrologer switches to a heliocentric solar system, new problems must arise concerning the positions of the zodiac signs which are positioned from the horizons of the earth instead of the sun.

Therefore, since the basic assumption of astrology is false, all conclusions drawn from it are likewise false.

2. Another basis of astrology is the number of planets in our solar system.

In the ancient times, predictive zodiacal astrology was limited to the planets seen with the naked eye (e.g. the sun, moon, and Mercury through Jupiter). Consequently, astrologers based their system upon the six planets they believed revolved around the earth.

But Galileo changed astronomy by using the telescope for stargazing in 1609. Other planets were later discovered: Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846), and Pluto (1930). Today, most birth charts are cast using all the planets.

One must ask, is all past horoscopy invalidated due to the lack of knowledge of real influential planets?

Here’s another problem. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union representing 424 astronomers officially demoted Pluto and ruled that it is no longer a planet. [5]

Now that our solar system is reduced to eight planets, it raises another question, should eight or nine planets be used in astrological charts?

Each choice alters the outcome of casting horoscopes and undermines the legitimacy of past horoscopes from ancient times to present.

3. The bedrock of astrology is the idea that the planets exert much influence on the earth and its inhabitants. This claim lacks any scientific or logical proof, but is founded on pagan superstition.

Mesopotamia has produced the oldest and archaeological evidences for ancient astrology. The Sumerian records that are inscribed on the Gudea cylinders (c. 2250 BC) provide the “earliest collection of celestial observations and their significance as omens.” [6]

This omen astrology later evolved into a zodiacal theory. The zodiac signs and houses had their origins among Babylonian priests who centered it on their polytheistic religion.

To ascribe the control of humans on earth to these celestial deities was in tune with their worship. Therefore, to embrace astrology involves an implicit acknowledgement of the pagan theology underlying it.

Many modern horoscope followers who claim to be Christians, might argue that they do not subscribe to the pagan beliefs embedded in the zodiac, but there’s no credible evidence that planets and stars emit any force or energy that could affect humans the way astrologers say they do.

Anyone claiming that nature controls your destiny is getting you into an occultic/pagan worldview.

4. Astrologers depend heavily upon the accuracy of determining the exact moment of birth in relationship to the position of heavenly bodies.

But since all hereditary factors are determined at conception, it should logically follow that these planets should begin their influence in a person’s destiny at his conception when life begins, not after his birth.

The fact is, it’s almost impossible to accurately determine when conception takes place. But if astrologers insist that the planets purportedly exert their influence on a person’s fate after birth, we need to ask:

Who determines when a child is born? Is it “Mother Nature?” More often the doctor decides the hour of birth based on his schedule, the mother’s welfare and other external factors.

Would it then be possible for a physician to thwart one’s astrological destiny by using drugs to manipulate the moment when the baby emerges?

5. Most of the predictions made through astrology are often so general and ambiguous that they can be subjectively tied to any occurrence. For example, a horoscope reading says to those who identify as “Sagittarius”:

“Jupiter, the planet of growth enters Sagittarius on November 8 bringing blessings to the home and family sector of your chart … between now and December 2019 you can expect many exciting things to happen on the home front.”

This “prediction” is so vague and mundane that it could apply to anyone at any time.

Even a 10 year old can figure out that “exciting things” usually happen in many homes during holiday seasons, so what exactly is the spectacular prediction being made here?

6. The contrasting character traits of twins, triplets and other multiple births is an insurmountable difficulty for natal astrology.

Thousands of twins are born within 4 minutes of each other – at the same time and place astrologically – yet it has been shown time and again that one or more of the siblings has a strikingly different character than the other.

Two people who are born at the same time can live totally different lives. One may turn out to be very successful, while the other one ends up a failure. The fact that twins do not live out the same lives shows another flaw in the theory. [7]

7. The problem of authority in astrology is vividly revealed when one realizes that there are many forms of astrology which are diametrically opposed to each other.

There’s Zoroastrian astrology, Egyptian astrology, Chinese astrology, Indian astrology, Graeco-Roman astrology, Pre-Columbian New World astrology, modern astrology and New Age astrology.

Many of these systems are fraught with internal inconsistencies and flawed calculations, yet its overall conflicting variables and lack of standardization presents a logical conundrum to those seeking truth in astrology.

Even in the West, some astrologers rely on eight zodiac signs rather than twelve; some rely on fourteen and even twenty-four signs of the zodiac. The implication is that predictions made by different astrologers for the same individual do not match.

Most people who follow their horoscope can get five conflicting readings from different sources all in one month!

If your calculator gave you five different answers to a simple Mathematical calculation, I can bet you’d throw it out in a garbage bag. In the same sense, why should you stake your life out on a dicey fraud such as astrology?

8. The early astronomers were not aware of procession and therefore failed to take it into account in their system. Newtonian astronomy (1687), however, showed us that the equinox is moving a full 30° zodiacal sign every 2,180 years. [8]

Each zodiac sign now takes on its preceding sign due to the equinox shifting.

Due to this change in the earth’s position in space, the dates associated with the zodiac signs no longer correspond to when the sun passes through constellations for which the signs were named.

Therefore, someone claiming to be “Libra” might actually be “Virgo” or “Scorpio.” Those who think they are born under Taurus the Bull (April 20 May 20) are actually born under Aries.

So if a horoscope is cast for a Taurus born in April, technically, it would be meaningless since his real sign is Aries.

9. If the theory of influence of planets is valid, it must be true for all people in all places or astrologers must explain how their theory remains true if exemptions exist.

Astrology begun in latitudes relatively close to the equator and made no provision for the possibility that no planet may be in sight in the higher latitudes regions for several weeks in a row. [9]

This means certain populated northern regions like Siberia, Sweden, the artic regions, or Alaska where the sun never crosses the horizons during these times have no “sun plane” or “zodiacal plane,” as astrologers call it.

Now, since these time periods lie completely outside of astrological charting, the people born in those times and places are exempt from astrology. This is another fatal blow to zodiacal astrology as it unreasonably exempts people born above or below the 66th latitude.

10. The zodiac signs are said to give clues to a person’s character. But this facile assumption is scientifically untenable.

Some studies have been conducted to determine the link between astrology and character traits, and the results found it completely lacking substantiation.

A friend once said to me, “You know, I’m Virgo, and Virgos are compassionate and sensitive,” to which I replied, “I see, but your birth month has no link with your character: your inherited genes and environment mainly determine your character. You would still have those qualities even if you weren’t born in September.”

People who have the same birthday do not have the same traits or life experiences! This can be checked out by anyone.

That’s why astrology conditions people into prejudice, because they judge a person’s behaviour and character by a set of assumptions. People born at various months of the year can all experience the same fortune or face a similar dilemma. The stars foretell nothing.

11. Astrology is basically a fatalistic system. It fosters a predetermined worldview where human moral choices and responsibility are eliminated.

Some modern astrologers even appeal to the Hermetic/occult principle of “as above, so below.” This posits that humans are a miniature mirrored image of the greater planetary macrocosm in the universe.

Now, if everything is predetermined in conjunction with the zodiac, how then can the astrologists get outside of that fatalism to accurately observe it? There is no way they can prove their system if they are pawns in that same system.

Since astrology is fatalistic in its approach, it leaves mankind as a cog in the cosmic machinery – a view of reality that is at odds with Scripture and the ethical virtue of moral responsibility.

Aside from the complete absence of free will from the history of astrology (with its attendant ethical consequences), the system lacks the objective authority necessary to explain our own world. Thus, astrologists are victims of their own system.

By contrast, as Christians we can test our own world view because Someone, Jesus Christ, has come from outside the “system” to tell us, objectively, what our system is like.

12. Astrology is opposed to the Christian world view and any attempt to graft one onto the other must pose a logical dilemma. The Bible forbids God’s people from learning the ways of the heathen, which includes astrology.

“Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them” (Jeremiah 10:2).

Bob Larson explained this succinctly:

“The underlying philosophy of astrology declares that one’s destinies can be found in the stars. In contrast, Christianity teaches that the events of life are determined by a combination of God’s sovereign will and man’s personal moral choices.

“Astrology, on the other hand, attempts to destroy man’s accountability to God. Horoscope devotees may think they can fall back on blaming the stars for their actions. But the Bible teaches that someday all mankind will stand before God to be judged (Rom. 14:12). Man is responsible for his conduct and the Lord will not take into consideration the lame excuse that certain stars and planets were in the wrong conjunction.” [10]

13. Astrology often claims a succession of successful predictions, but what is largely ignored is the number of failures.

One of the most popular astrologers in recent years was the psychic Jeane Dixon, but even she had one failed prediction after another. If astrology is based on a natural force, it should harmonise with science and have a high degree of predictability like other natural forces, but it lacks this.

If it’s based on a supernatural force, it should have a remarkable high success rate, but it also lacks this as well.

Therefore, we are left with a conclusion: astrology is an occult art based on demonic forces that weave the webs of darkness around those who follow them.

14. Many pagan nations sought the counsel of astrologers for centuries and it held them under the spiritual bondage of fear, deception, superstition, retrogression and demon worship.

Even today, many witches and satanists rely on their knowledge of astrology to invoke demons for their  spells since they also have their own astrological categories.

We are not to look at the stars, however. God has given us His Son, and we are to follow Him. Only Jesus knows the future, and only as we are in union with Jesus do we have confidence about the future and God’s purpose become clearer to us.

Notes

[1] Rene Noorbergen, The Soul Hustlers, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976, p. 176.

[2] Walter Martin, Jill Martin Rische and Kurt Van Gorden, The Kingdom of the Occult, Thomas Nelson: TN, 2008, p. 271.

[3] Anonymous, “Astrology: Fad and Phenomena” in Time magazine, March 21, 1969, p. 58.

[4] The Encyclopedia of World Religions. Revised Edition. DWJ Books, 2007, p. 51.

[5] San Francisco Chronicle, August 27, 2006, E-2.

[6] Samuel Hooke, Babylonian and Assyrian Religion, 1953, Creative Partners p. 91.

[7] Josh McDowell and Don Stewart The Occult, Here’s Life Publishers, 1992, p. 47.

[8] Kenneth Boa, Cults, World Religions and You, Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1977, pp. 124-125.

[9] Michael Gauquelin, The Cosmic Clocks, Chicago, IL: Henry Rwgnery Co., 1967, p. 78.

[10] Larson’s Book of Cults, Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL: 1983, p. 259.

 

 

Freedom from Addiction to Porn and Masturbation

Masturbation-porn
Addiction to enslaving habits

In recent times, as I have read through blogs, social media threads or magazines and followed through Christian TV shows, a subject that keeps coming up during feedback from readers or the audience hinges on addiction to pornography and masturbation.

In almost every instance – particularly on Christian forums – the struggler admits he has prayed, fasted and in some cases, even received deliverance ministrations to be free from these twin enslaving habits, yet the problem persisted.

These are deep areas, and I believe we will keep encountering such problems as the Internet and/or social media increasingly becomes an addictive past time.

We are in an era where obsession and preoccupation with sex has become the norm and abstinence has become quaint and impractical.

Visual pornography entered mainstream western culture with magazines, which confined users to static erotica.

The few x-rated movies of the 80s were found mainly in adult bookstores and other public or semi-public venues where most people didn’t want to spend much time at.

But then, video rentals and late-night cable channels emerged, which gave “life” to static porn and offered to people a level of access and privacy which cinema houses didn’t have.

Though there were private, cheaper and dialed up porn in the early 2000s, the sexual floodgates opened with the rise of high-speed Internet in 2006, giving rise to a whole new creature: a plethora of short porn clips, hardcore streaming videos and “tube sites” which have wrought incalculable damage to many lives and families.

In 2016 when, Pamela Anderson, the former Playmate and Baywatch star described pornography as a “public hazard” that affects men’s “ability to function as husband, and, by extension, as father,” her informed opinion was greeted with a howl of rage by the secular world who felt she was ripping their sacred cow into shreds.

The sad truth is that, we have reached a stage in which so many men and women are shackled to several sexual sins and when they enter into marriages with such unresolved issues, sexual problems and other unwholesome consequences begin to show up.

Take for instance, a man who has spent years objectifying women through the virtual images that porn synthesizes in the mind.

When he now meets with a real three dimensional woman (flesh and blood), the effects of that sin start to show themselves as forms of sexual dysfunctions (e.g. dependence on porn to stimulate sexual desire, premature ejaculation, anorgasmia – inability to achieve sexual climax often without self-stimulation), a cultivated taste for perverse sexual acts or a complete loss of attraction for his partner.

Gary Wilson, in his enlightening book, Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction, notes that:

“The earliest people to report porn-relates problems in online forums were totally computer programmers and information-technology specialists. They had acquired high-speed internet porn ahead of the pack – and then developed uncharacteristic sexual tastes, delayed ejaculation or erectile dysfunction (ED) during sex. Eventually, some experienced ED even while using porn. Nearly all were in their late twenties or older.” (Commonwealth Publishing, 2014, p. 17).

Unfortunately, these are problems many Christians refuse to admit – even to themselves – hence, their roots remain buried beneath a dark pool of psychological and spiritual bondage.

An urologist and author, Harry Fisch, writes bluntly that porn is killing sex. In his book, The New Naked, he zeroes in on the decision element: the Internet. It “provided ultra-easy access to something that is fine as an occasional treat but hell for your [sexual] health on a daily basis.”

In May 2014, a prestigious medical journal published research showing that, even in moderate porn users, use (number of years and current hours per week) correlates with reduced grey matter and decreased sexual responsiveness.

The researchers cautioned that the heavy porn users’ brain might have been pre-shrunken rather than shrunken by porn usage, but favoured degree-of-porn-use as the most plausible explanation (Simone Kühn and Jürgen Gallinat, JAMA Psychiatry, 2014 doi:10:1001).

In July 2014, a team of neuroscience experts headed by a psychiatrist at Cambridge University revealed that more than half of the subjects in their study of porn addicts reported “that as a result of excessive use of sexually explicit materials, they had … experienced diminished libido or erectile dysfunction specifically in physical relationships with women (although not in relationship to the sexually explicit material” (Valerie Voon, et al., PLOS One, 2014:DOI:10:1371).

I am deliberately quoting these secular and liberal sources to show you that the damage that porn does to the human soul goes beyond the conservative and liberal debate; it goes beyond puritanical religious and social norms – it is a widespread effect of the consumption of virtual sex in our time.

As I reflect on these baffling scenarios, a Bible verse flashes into my mind:

“[In the last days] For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2 Tim. 3:2)

My attention is drawn to the first line, “people will be lovers of self.” Self is the root of all personal sins. Sexual sins are one of the fruit of self.

Selfishness is the leading cause of many broken marriages today because it has become rife. Many enter into it to please themselves first before the other person.

And when a sexually selfish person is joined to another sexually selfish person, what do you think will be the end result?

So many people are only interested in things that will pleasure self. And this is why love has been mis-defined and misconceived.

Because selfish people have no love to offer anyone, they replace love with sex to an extent that once the word “love” is mentioned, what it means to them is “sex.”

The problem will have to be addressed from the heart. Self must be crucified for Christ to dwell in us.

Now, how can a Christian struggling with addiction to pornography and masturbation attain victory?

The solution to the bondage of sin is the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

It was there that He took up our sins and the punishment we justly deserved upon Himself and in exchange, imparted onto us His righteousness – God’s righteousness (1 Cor. 5:21).

The outworking of this righteousness is to take away our sins and then give us power over that sin, enabling us to live as spotless children of God. The outworking of this grace of victory over sin is based on faith in Christ’s work.

One reason many fail in the area of victory over enslaving habits is because they do not walk in this faith, hence do not receive the grace to walk in victory.

They do not allow the Holy Spirit to operate on their hearts but want to walk the Christian walk in the flesh.

Romans 6:6 tells us that we have been crucified with Christ so that the domination of the flesh is destroyed and we can now be free from the enslaving power of sin.

The degree to which you walk in faith in God’s power is the degree of grace that will be available to you.

Another reason, which I briefly referenced above, is that many people want to walk with God and run with the devil.

They think they can experience freedom from guilt and oppression on the one hand, while holding to all the rottenness of the world on the other hand.

For instance, you can’t have victory over pornography if you still drool on graphic sex scenes in movies, websites or books.

You can’t attain victory over masturbation if you listen to lyrics of vulgar music like Naira Marley’s “Jo Soapy.” That’s like snorting bits of coca every night and asking for rehabilitation every morning.

Here’s what God expects of us:

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11)

“If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as…” (Col. 2:20)

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Gal. 2:20)

“and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24)

Take note of these verses and mediate on them. Make them your combat kit.

A guy said when he was gaining victory over his addiction to masturbation and he felt the urges coming on, he would begin to confess the scriptures and the thoughts would dissipate. That was how he was able to eventually gain victory over it.

That leads me to another point: many people who are bound with addictive sinful patterns have weak prayer lives and don’t feed on the Word of God.

I have been in touch with several Christians who have lamented about how they’ve tried “everything” to be free from enslaving sins and yet still get defeated, and I give them a litmus test. Once they flunk this test, the answer they are seeking is right there.

I would ask, how much do you pray daily, read your Bible, and how much of Scripture do you commit to memory from time to time?

Most of the time, you will hear crickets chirping from the forest, because they don’t pray to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit; they don’t dig deep into the crystal spring of the Word, but they somehow want to be clean! It doesn’t work that way! Jesus said:

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Matt. 26:41)

When you don’t pray or hide the Word of God in your heart, it will be very easy for you to sin because you are as spiritually light as paper, blown about by every wind of spiritual or physical pressure.

What gives you strength from within is how much you are connected to God through fervent prayer, worship and the Word.

However, I know that some people do pray and read the Bible and try to apply much discipline but are still enslaved. That’s because the root of that bondage hasn’t been dealt with.

You would think these people have a “split personality” if you didn’t understand how demonic forces operate within people.

I can relate to this because I know what it is to have an area of your life held hostage by evil spirits. And I have seen it in people – these are Christians who were truly saved, but have some aspects of their lives still shrouded in darkness which demons have a fortress in.

There’s usually a progression:

Phase 1: Sin. The sinful act resulting from the thoughts and decision to sin. If it becomes regular it leads to this:

Phase 2: Besetting sin. The sin habit forms and when the person indulges in it frequently it leads to:

Phase 3: A stronghold. This is a “sin tumour” or fortress in the believer’s life (2 Cor. 10:4-5). If it’s not pulled down by spiritual weapons, it leads to:

Phase 4: A strongman residing in the stronghold (Lk. 11:21). The cultivated sin tumour is now energized by a demon from within and the person loses control over that area until the strongman loses the legal grounds.

Most people who have struggled with porn or masturbation for decades usually follow this downward spiral category, but not in every case.

Some of these people are married but will admit masturbating at least twice daily or more. That’s a sign of bondage.

I also notice that people who have been sexually molested or exposed to sex at young ages tend to have this demonic compulsion to masturbate or end up in porn/exhibitionism.

One of the best kept secrets in the secular world is that most porn stars are actually victims of sexual abuse. They never left that spiritual cage, they only decorated it.

Before such captives are rescued, the strong man first have to be bound and dislodged.

This is simply about renouncing the sin that led to a stronghold, breaking demonic soul ties forged with one’s own flesh (or others as the case may be) and expelling these spiritual strangers from one’s life.

Forget about the scenarios prevalent in Hollywood: folks levitating, heads spinning like owls, pea soup or green slime being spewed or people barking like dogs.

These are borderline scenarios and are not even necessary if your faith in the power of Jesus is strong enough. He has paid a great price for your freedom, make use of it and walk in victory.

Finally, people seeking deliverance from addictions to unclean habits should first be properly educated on how to exercise self discipline, see the necessity of spiritual growth and discipleship and learn how to crucify self. Otherwise, they would most likely obtain temporary relief.