Thursday, July 26, 2012

Horoscopes & Divination

My article from this week's Algona Upper Des Moines about Horoscopes and other forms of Divination:

Q:  How should the Christian approach Ouija boards, palm reading, horoscopes and other similar practices?  Can these rituals really allow us to communicate with spiritual beings or discern the future, and are Christians permitted to engage in them?

All of these things fit into a category of actions that the Old Testament calls divination, which includes any method of seeking communication with spiritual beings other than the One True God or seeking to gain knowledge about the future from any source other than God and His Prophets.  The Bible forbids divination because it is a form of idolatry. 

The First Commandment forbids idolatry in every form, commanding the people of Israel that they are not to have anything to do with any other supposed god or to seek spiritual good from any source other than the One True God.  Practices such as the use of Ouija boards, which overtly call on various spiritual powers are obviously forms of idolatry in these terms.  In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul even goes so far in 1 Corinthians 10 as to state that the gods of non-Christian religions are actually demons posing as deities, and therefore the worship of false gods is actually the worship of demons. 

When it comes to palm reading, horoscopes, and other methods which seek to discern present knowledge of future events from entirely unrelated natural signs, it should be completely obvious to any logical person that there can be no possible correlation between the lines on a person’s hand or the alignment of the stars that would indicate what will happen in their future.  If the predictions revealed through these methods prove to be untrue, that should be exactly the result we expect. 

In the event that they do prove to be true, there are several possible explanations to what has happened.  First, and most obvious is random chance—much like a broken clock is still right twice a day.  Second, and nearly as likely, is deception.  Often practitioners of these rituals learn things about their subjects through subtle conversation (like a street-corner fortune teller) or they write predictions that are so vague nearly any event could be seen as a fulfillment of the prediction (as in magazine horoscopes).

A third, and most dangerous, possibility is that knowledge has been in fact being revealed to the practitioner.  This knowledge even comes from the spiritual realm, but it is important to remember that not everything spiritual is good—a truth often overlooked in modern spirituality.  In such a case, the knowledge would actually be demonic in its source and given for the purpose of undermining or distracting from trust in Jesus. 

In any case, all of the practices and rituals in this category are to be rejected by Christians and are unwise for a number of reasons.  All forms of divination are foolish because they are logically unfounded and typically just a trick or deception, but additionally, if one actually relies on these methods, it could be a form of idolatry which would be spiritually dangerous for that person. 

Readers are encouraged to submit questions for inclusion in future issues.  You may submit questions by email to or by mail to P.O. Box 195; Burt, IA  50522.

Rev. Jason P. Peterson

Pastor, St. John’s Lutheran Church – Burt

Zion Lutheran Church - LuVerne

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog! I've been researching into my horoscope and found this really helpful so I just wanted to say thank you!