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Truth or Snare?

by Cate Russell-Cole  
10/19/2015 / Christian Living


"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." Colossians 2:8-10
" For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus."
2 Corinthians 3:11

Astrology is creeping into the church, and we are unaware of it's origins. Hippocrates was a resolute believer in astrology as the truth, in fact, he is even quoted in the Astrology text "The Compleat Astrologer" (by Derek and Julia Parker) as saying: "A physician without a knowledge of Astrology has no right to call himself a physician", (page 29). "Hippocrates proposed that man's character was the result of the balance of four 'humours', blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile." (page 28, Parker) The handbooks and information packages on temperament counselling refer to Hippocrates (460-377BC), a Greek Philosopher and Doctor, who is part of the basis of the temperament theory. The temperaments literature does not, however, mention Hippocrates close association with astrology, or any other association with astrology. Because of this, I've been concerned about the focus on temperaments, which has crept into Christian Counselling from authors such as Timothy La Haye, Bill Newman and Florence Littauer.

Several years ago, I went to our local city library to find out where information on the temperaments can be found. The psychology section, which I automatically tried first, led me straight to the astrology section, where I was shocked to find detailed information. After discovering the link between temperaments and astrological signs, I began to research further. I found the comparison between the four temperaments and the four humours to be almost entirely accurate. For example: typical 'sanguine' temperaments matched with typical Air Signs - Gemini, Libra, Aquarius, and so on with all other temperaments, and astrological signs. Information to support this can be found in most astrology books, it took me little effort to find the material.

Because of the links, I am perturbed when Christians who are adopting a temperament viewpoint are interacting with "what temperament are you?" It opens a door to living within pre-determined identity boxes, rather than "I used to be.... but Jesus has changed me, and He's going to keep taking me from glory to glory." It is becoming a philosophy within the boundaries of Christianity, from roots that the Bible clearly speaks out against, (Leviticus 19:31 and Deuteronomy 18:10) and it can divert us from our testimony of salvation, which the Bible refers to in Revelation as one of our greatest tools to defeat the enemy.

Personally, I want to be a WITNESS! When I wasn't a Christian, I used to be a melancholy because I was in desperate need of God's healing. Then I was saved, and I started growing and changing out of my melancholy personality, because Jesus changed me and set me free. (1 Cor.6:12) Now, I'm not willing to be bought under the power of anything that is going to tell me I'm permanently stuck in a mould! Being labelled as melancholy depressed me by the mere connotations of the word. My identity belongs in Christ, under His mercy, grace and liberty. I am a new creation, because I have a heavenly Father who loves me, and is changing me to reflect His image, not man's ideas of me.

If you are into temperament counselling, please don't switch off what I'm saying. In the person of Jesus Christ, is all we need to be set free from every oppression, depression, sorrow and problem that afflicts us. Our restoration and salvation come when we cling to Jesus, rather than any counselling technique or philosophy. As for me, I like to know the truth of where things come from, and Jesus' truth has set me free.

This article by Cate Russell-Cole is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Written in Australian English.

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