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The Bible in a Changing World
Good News Magazine
July 1976
Volume: Vol XXV, No. 7
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The Bible in a Changing World
Herbert W Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: July 31, 1892
Died: January 16, 1986
Member Since: 1928
Ordained: 1931
Office: Apostle

Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon.


   Recent opinion polls show that some 35 million Americans believe that astrology has some value in helping one lead a successful life. But what does the Bible say about astrology?
   As with other superstitions of man, there may be some element of truth amidst the mass of astrological mythology. Recent scientific evidence suggests that certain astronomical relationships can affect living organisms on earth — e.g, some biological rhythms of plants and animals are regulated by phases of the moon, sunspot cycle s, etc. Hitherto unknown influences — electromagnetic, gravitational, etc, from beyond the earth may even do the same. But astrology is, to say the least, scientifically unprovable.
   Certainly a God who could create both the astral bodies (Gen. 1:1) and all the forms of life found on earth is able to have ordained many not-so-obvious interrelationships hitherto undiscovered by man. "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite" (Ps. 147:4-5).
   Furthermore, God did definitely intend that the stars should be studied by man and used for human purposes. Says the book of Genesis: "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen. 1:14).
   But the same God absolutely forbade astrology for the following reason: If a person looks to the stars for guidance — makes himself any form of astrological religion — he worships the created more than the Creator (Rom. 1:25).
   Dependence upon astrology for spiritual answers to life's problems, therefore, breaks one of the basic Ten Commandments — that against idolatry: "I am the Lord thy God.... Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 202-3). For this reason Moses also wrote: "Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves... lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them..." (Deut.4:15-19).
   Violation of this law carried the death penalty in the theocracy of Israel (Deut. 17:2-5). This was — and is — .... the Word of God. No true believer in the Bible can regulate his or her spiritual life by astrology and remain loyal to the Creator. On the other hand, dependence upon and obedience to God prevents the evil effects of idolatry and produces a more abundant life here and now and eternal life in the future.
   As an example for us today (I Cor. 10:11; Rom. 15:4), biblical history records the apostasy of the ancient House of Israel. Those peoples failed to follow the laws God designed to bring them peace, prosperity and happiness. Instead, "... They left all the commandments of the Lord their God... and worshipped all the host of heaven" (II Kings 17:16). The House of Judah later fell into this same idolatry. Manasseh, king of Judah, "worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them" (II Kings 21:3).
   The prophet Isaiah forecasted the ultimate penalty for stubborn continuance in the practice of astrology — at least in the biblical sense of the term: "Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold ... they shall not deliver themselves..." (Isa. 47:13-14).
   We ourselves may not always be able to exactly determine whether or not many who practice some forms of what is called astrology today actually come under the biblical condemnation. However, it is far safer to simply avoid the practice of such things altogether. For further information on this subject, read our free booklet about The Occult Explosion - What Does It Mean?.


   Time magazine recently reported that a California state law allowing for confidential marriages was making it possible for more than 20,000 couples yearly to enter into quickie unions without going through a lot of red tape. This law, designed to make it easier for common-law couples to legalize their relationship, not only provides a loophole for people intent on bigamy, but increases the danger of the spread of venereal disease because no blood test or waiting period is required.
   The Bible contains some pertinent advice on entering into hasty contracts such as this without due counsel and consideration. Proverbs 11:14 says: "Where there is no guidance, a people falls; but in an abundance of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 246 repeats this principle: "By wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is Victory." Proverbs 15:22 adds that "Without counsel plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed."
   Marriage especially should not be entered into hastily. Again we read in Proverbs that "It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman." Finding out if you are able to spend a lifetime together compatibly takes a good deal of time, and quickie marriages don't make for such careful consideration.
   (Further information on this subject may be obtained by reading our free booklet entitled Modern Dating.)

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Good News MagazineJuly 1976Vol XXV, No. 7
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