Question: "What is astrotheology?"
Answer: The word astrotheology (or astro-theology) comes from the Greek word astron, which means “star,” and the word theology, which means “the study of God.” Since ancient times, man has worshiped deities associated with the heavenly bodies—the stars, moon, and sun (Zephaniah 1:5)—and this practice is called “astrolatry.” The term astrotheology is more specifically applied to a religious system based on the observation of the heavens. Astrolatry is usually polytheistic, while astrotheology allows for monotheism. In fact, some people attempt to combine astrotheology with Christianity.
Astrolatry and star-worship were common in Old Testament times, and it was forbidden in the Mosaic Law. The first and second of the Ten Commandments address idolatry in general, including the worship of images of celestial bodies: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above” (Exodus 20:3–4; cf. Deuteronomy 4:19; 17:3).
True theology looks up at the stars, moon, and sun; sees proof of God’s glory; and worships Him for what He has made (Psalm 19:1); it does not worship the creation (which astrolatry does), and it does not view the creation as a symbol of God (which astrotheology does).
Astrotheology attempts to twist Scripture so that Jesus Christ, instead of being God’s SON, is actually God’s SUN. Astrotheology ties the gospel to ancient god myths and mystery religions. The idea is that the story of Jesus Christ is simply the story of man’s relationship with the sun and the seasons. Early man was afraid of darkness and realized his dependence on the sun, waiting for the sun to come again day after day. Darkness became a symbol of evil (the devil), and God, who gave us the sun for light and warmth and growing food, was good. Eventually, says astrotheology, these ideas were expressed in the Bible as the story of Jesus Christ.
Astrotheology teaches that Bible verses that say Jesus is the light of the world (e.g., John 8:12) are really referring to the physical sun. The twelve months of the year are represented by Christ’s twelve apostles, and the four Gospels represent the four seasons. Astrotheology attempts to show that the mythologies of ancient gods such as Osiris, Horus, Adonis, and Mithras were based on seasonal cycles, and that the story of Jesus Christ is just a retelling of those ancient tales. Several books and two recent films, The God Who Wasn’t There and Zeitgeist, are making these claims popular. The problem with such claims is twofold: 1) astrotheology and similar beliefs dismiss the evidence for the historical Jesus Christ, and 2) the so-called parallels between the Gospels and the mythical religions are invalid, as honest research will show. The claims made by the historical Jesus are unique and do not match the stories of the pagan gods.
Any attempt to allegorize the Word of God, pervert its plain sense, or deny Jesus Christ is abominable. The Bible warns us against “ignorant and unstable people” who distort Scripture “to their own destruction. . . . Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position” (2 Peter 3:16–17). Instead of being led astray by the claims of astrotheology, we should “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (verse 18).