The Rev. Mary Newberg Gale, associate pastor, First Presbyterian Church, 2415 Clinton Parkway:
Faith is, in its purest form, belief in something. Theologian Paul Tillich defined faith as that which you place your ultimate trust in and loyalty to. Everyone has faith in something. Even noted atheists like Richard Dawkins have faith — it is just in science and rationality rather than in the divine. The question people of faith face is one Tillich poses: Where does your ultimate loyalty and trust lie?
The use of “ultimate” is a deliberate one to differentiate among the many things to which we give our loyalty and/or trust. Faithful believers of many religions can be loyal to their alma maters, a particular political party or a sports team. Faithful believers can trust in their partners, their children or even their horoscopes. These things can be right and good in the proper framework. Disorder and discord come when we put our faith in those things above faith in the divine.
When money, status, success, or power begin to rule our actions rather than the love, respect, selflessness and care for one another nearly universally taught across religious lines, we lose a piece of our humanity. As humans we have a tendency to focus solely on ourselves and our needs, so it is important to place our highest, or ultimate, trust and loyalty in things that turn us outside ourselves into proper relationship with the world.
Faith in horoscopes, astrology, or even the Jayhawks is not necessarily incompatible with faith in the divine. We must, however, remember where our ultimate loyalty lies, and reevaluate that framework throughout our lives in order to turn again and again to the divine as our most trusted authority.
— Send email to Mary Newberg Gale at email@example.com.
Rod Hinkle, pastor, North Lawrence Christian Church, 647 Elm St.:
Yes, dear friend, having faith in horoscopes is contradictory to having faith in God.
Do the people who write horoscopes have personal access to the will of God for your life? Why consult mediums and sorcery when you can receive guidance from God? Why do you need to “know” the future when you already trust God for each step of your life? Surely as a Christian you must have a relationship with your Abba, Father God, the Creator of the stars.
Saul, the first king of Israel (circa 1000 B.C.) fell so far away from God that he could not or would not consult God. Facing a strong military power, he went to the witch of Endor (see 1 Samuel 28) to consult demons as to his future. To his surprise, God sent Samuel from the dead to warn him of impending doom.
God’s command to Israel, and for you, too, my friend, if you are a Christian, protects you from falling into the hands of demons. Having faith in God, you may not place your faith in horoscopes.
Surely modern people know that their fate is not “in their stars.” Perhaps for you, hopefully, it is nothing more than a fanciful game. However, the stars do speak a message loud and clear that all can hear. “The heavens declare the glory of God (their Creator); the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19:1-4)”
And, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens ... When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? (Psalm 8:1, 3, 4)”
The stars proclaim that “somebody bigger than you or I” created them. The orderly universe in all its beauty and glory, the galaxies innumerable, the precise and perfect location of this home of ours proclaim that the wisdom of God, Creator, Father and Savior is our source of fullness of life. For the Lord said, “This is life eternal: that they might know You, the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. (John 17:3)”
— Send email to Rod Hinkle at Preachrod45@aol.com.