Friday, October 05, 2007

Zeitgeist: The Movie, Part 2: Astrology

In the second post about the movie Zeitgeist, a highly skeptical documentary that contains, among other conspiracy theories, that Christianity is a lie, I am going to address address the films claims about astrology. To watch the movie, see the post below. You really should watch it before reading this, otherwise much of what I write about won;t make sense. Here we go.

The video essentially claims that for thousands of years the Egyptians have worshipped the sun and stars, and that all religions that exist today are derivatives of this initial belief system. Keep in mind that the makers of this movie put no stock in astrology. They are merely using it (a ridiculous belief system) to show that Christianity is a ridiculous belief system.

In addition, they claim that the Bible is riddled with astrological claims, saying "this text has more to do with astrology than anything else."

I am still friends with many of my professors from college. Here is the question and response of Dr. Wave Nunnally from Evangel University on this issue:

I'm sure you have heard some of these Astrological theories before (i.e. the idea that the Bible "has more to do with astrology than anything else."). Do you have any general comments?

The doc[umentary] as a whole seems to be poorly conceived. The Bible actually polemicizes against astrology in a number of ways. Moses, for example, describes the sun, mon, and stars as created "signs" that have no life within themselves and are to serve God and man. The writers of the historical books and the prophets denounce Israel's decent into paganism when the worship the "host of heaven." Despite this, authors like Marilyn Hickey and David Wommack have written volumes asserting that the gospel can be found in the stars.

There are several examples they attempt to give of of Christianity copying off of astrology and the bible referring to such, and I will address three of those instances here. Let me say that i am no astrologer or expert in astrology. However, since they are claiming that the bible makes astrological claims, I feel I am educated enough to weigh in on what the Bible does say.

First, they claim about Luke 22:10, "this scripture is by far one of the most revealing of the astrological references." They say "When Jesus is asked where the next passover will be after he is gone" that he replies saying "As you enter the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will greet you. Follow him to the house that he enters." The documentary claims that this is referring to Aquarius, the man carrying water in the signs of the zodiac, and that Jesus is essentially saying that he (Jesus) is the representation of God in this age, but that a different age is coming, called the Age of Aquarius, in approximately 2100 AD. Keep in mind that the creator does not actually believe Jesus said this (because doesn't believe Jesus ever existed), just that this is what the writers of the bible wanted to communicate. The only problem with this interpretation of Like 22:10 is that this is not the question that the disciples asked Jesus. In fact, there question has nothing to do with the future. In verse 8 Jesus tells them to "Go and make preparations for us to eat the passover." "Where do you want us to prepare for it?" they asked. That is when Jesus tells them to go into the city, find this guy carrying water, and that he would give them a room that is furnished for the passover. Not future, now. Not in the next aeon, but right now. They gave the wrong context (as mentioned before) and it changed the entire meaning of the verse. Not only is it not astrological, but as it is, it cannot even be bent to be astrological. This terns out to be nothing more than bad hermeneutics.

Second, they say that Moses comes to power in the age of Taurus, the bull, but he represents Ares, the ram, and that the exchange on Mt Sinai marks the transition. And, it was because the people were stuck in the previous age is why he was angry about the golden calf, not because they were worshipping a false god. This is again solved if we look at the context. Ex 32:31 shows Moses repenting for the people, saying "oh what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold." Clearly it is that they are worshipping false God's, and not a mix up of the "ages" that has Moses (and God) so angry. They also attribute the blowing of the shofar (or rams horn) during this time as signs of ares. They don't consider that there are only a handful of instruments available at this time (harp, lyre, tambourine, and shofar etc.). The Israelites are only guilty of using instruments in worship, not of announcing the age of ares the ram.

Third, they claim that Jesus brings about the age of Pisces, the fish. Now, despite the fact that Jesus is oftentimes ministering in areas where there is a lot of coast, where fishing would be a large part of the commerce, and a large percentage of the men would be fisherman, and that the majority of the meat that is clean for Jews to eat is fish (I'm sure none of these could be the reason that fish are mentioned so much in the NT), we know why the fish became the symbol of the early Christian movement. The fish, or ichthys (pronounced ick-thoos) which is the Greek word for fish is an acronym, with each of the letters standing for a word in the phrase "Jesus Christ, Son of God." That is why the symbol of Christianity in the first hundred years and today is the fish, not because we are in the age of Pisces.

Some of these claims in the film are so outlandish that you can nearly laugh them off. If you know anything about the Bible, it is hard not to immediately find where they go wrong. this is just another good time to encourage us all to be diligent students of God's word, and to be intellectually honest and look for proof and evidence. If you except everything on faith, then when a documentary like this comes by, you have no way to answer it. However, if you have studied the history, archeology, and other disciplines that back up Christianity claims, it is not hard to come against these outlandish statements. Faith is good and absolutely necessary. but we don;t believe for no reason. We believe because it make sense, because there is a long line of evidence and experience to lead us to believe the way we do.

Next time I will be diving into the claims that Jesus is a copycat of the pagan religions. Stay tuned!

-NF

1 comment:

Nate Watson said...

Great post--reveals s good number of holes.
By the way, I too sat under Nunally (Hebrew). Say hello for me if you get a chance!