Throughout the ages, the relationship between astrology and Christianity has been quite contradictory. At different times, Christians have treated astrology differently. They saw it almost as the center of their worldview on an equal footing with God, and considered it a devilish doctrine, contrary to the Bible, and his followers, almost the henchmen of the devil himself.
Where did astrology come from in our lives?
Hundreds of thousands of years B.C., people began to notice the position of heavenly bodies and use it for their own purposes. For example, the stars position made it clear when to sow and harvest. It is known that human by nature strives to systematize everything, and the development of astrology shows it in the best way. Of course, it took many thousands of years from the use of astrometeorology (weather prediction) to the compilation of natal charts and individual horoscope, however, appearance of the twelve signs horoscope dates back to the 5th-4th century BC. Finally, the tradition of horoscopic teaching was formed about 1 century AD, under the influence of Greek culture, and remained unchanged until the newest time.
Christianity as religion has come in our world from Palestine in the 33rd year of 1 the century AD, and has arisen around of the life and Jesus Christ’s doctrine. Adherents of this religion do not doubt its historicity and consider the Savior of mankind the Son of God. From the first centuries of the existence, Christianity struggled with pagan cults of the Sun and the Moon, though over time these cults have changed and found reflection directly in the system of Christianity. But just as a thousand and a half years ago, and still today, there is an ongoing debate whether this pseudoscience has the right to exist, or it is the product of the devil calling for rejection of all that is written in the Bible. Christians’ opinions about astrology have varied from century to century.
The essence of the conflict
Christians, who consider astrology to be a madness, argue that it contradicts the main tenets of faith described in the Bible – the free will and the will of God. Where free will means the ability to make decisions independently, based on the fact that each person is individual, with his or her own character and manner of behavior. These decisions cannot be predetermined by stars or genetics. According to the Bible, God’s Providence means believing that God knows what is best for man, and God directs him to the eternal good and salvation of the faithful through his deeds and signs. God has omniscient knowledge – full and correct knowledge of everything. It is believed that a man is free in his actions and can determine them. These actions are a priori included in God’s beyond time plan.
However, astrology completely refutes these two postulates, arguing that the character traits and manner of behavior are predetermined in advance and depend on the sign of the zodiac under which a human was born. Moreover, astrology claims that people born under the same zodiac signs have similar characters and can act in similar situations. This completely contradicts with the Christian postulates described in the Bible, and that is why some adherents of this religion are often categorical against the teachings of astrology.
The right to exist
In contrast to this view, the followers of Neo-Platonist school of philosophy in the 3rd-5th centuries AD were inclined to recognize the right to the existence of astrology, and Synesius of Cyrene even believed that it prepares human for the higher secrets of theology. Some Christian thinkers tried to change the worldview of astrology converting it to Christianity, and putting the stars in a subordinate position to the Divine will, and opposing the fatalism of one of the postulates – the freedom of human will. They considered that deep penetration into the laws of space life could contribute to “liberation of the soul from the bondage of matter” – Hermes: Almanac on history of secret sciences.
Today, Christian Church representatives continue to argue whether this paranoia is a kind of religion that infringes upon a human’s free will, and whether it contradicts the postulate of God’s Providence described in the Bible. Also, some clergymen express a tolerance for astrological teachings. They note that astrology may be acceptable as a science that tells us how the stars and planets affect us materially and perhaps spiritually, if it does not pretend to be an ersatz-religion.
As a result, you can see that disputes regarding the recognition of these doctrines by Christian Church have been going on since the ancient times and have not calmed down till today, though the church statements have become more tolerant.