we are called to worship the Creator, not the created
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Romans 1:24,25
We are not the first people to worship creation. We may not do it as obviously as the "pagans" did, with their sun god and fertility god and god of love. But we do it just the same. Our obsession with climate change, recycling, green energy and the like are evidence that we have made the earth into an idol. But the warning is clear and it cannot be ignored. Exchanging the truth for a lie, the Creator for His creation, has dire consequences. Our God is a patient God, but He will hand us over to our flesh if we don't wise-up to His commands.
“You shall have no other gods before me." Deuteronomy 5:7
The very fact that we have a "holiday" devoted to the earth shows, in a way, that we have made the earth into a god. It has become an idol, no doubt about that. And so much so, that many would argue that mankind is it's enemy.
we are not the enemy of the earth
The earth was made to be inhabited. By us being here, using the resources that God has given to us and living our daily lives, we are not the earth's enemy. We, human beings, are the crown of creation, created in the very image of God. The earth is not. The animals are not. The trees and flowers and oceans are not. We are. Our lives hold so much more value than anything else on this earth, including the earth itself. To claim that we are the enemy of the earth is to discount the intrinsic value that each person holds.
We are, however, the keepers of the earth. I do believe we are to be respectful of our planet, but that can be done without making the earth an idol and without placing its value above our own. We are its stewards, commissioned by God:
And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1: 28.
I think it's interesting to note that in the same sentence in which God commands Adam to rule over the creatures and the earth, he also tells him to be fruitful and multiply and fill it. Unfortunately, our crooked worldview has pitted those two ideas against each other. If we are to care for the earth, then we have to stop having so many children. God, however, tells us differently:
"... he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited" Isaiah 45:18 (emphasis mine)
God, who made the earth, who spoke everything that exists into existence, tells us that He formed this planet to be inhabited. Our over-concern for the over-habitation of this planet is counter to scripture. If we are to trust God, and His word, then we have to believe Him that people on this earth, lots of people on this earth, is a good thing.
an over-concern for the earth leads to a deadly worldview
"Mother Earth Day" was adopted by the UN on April 22, 2009. The same UN who, in 1967, established the United Nations Population Fund. This organization "advocates close attention to population concerns, and helps developing nations formulate policies and strategies in support of sustainable development." Phrases like "population concerns" and "sustainable development" are just fancy talk for population control, which simply put, is men determining the number of human beings allowed to populate the earth.
Their agenda is simple: halt the rise in population and decrease the number of people on earth. The reason being that they believe the resources on earth cannot support a certain population. A population that men have determined. And what is the answer to this problem? We can either decrease birth rates or increase death rates. What a coincidence; abortion accomplishes both. One of their main goals: "Universal access to reproductive health services by 2015." If you don't know by now, "reproductive health services" is fancy talk for abortificient birth control, the morning after pill, RU486 and abortion.
Of course this is no new concept. Perhaps you have heard of Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood), John D. Rockefeller, Sir Francis Galton (scientist behind eugenics movement), Ted Turner or Jacques Cousteau. All have been major proponents of population control. Alan Gregg of the Rockefeller Foundation once said, "The world has cancer and the cancer is man." The primary idea behind this agenda is that the planet, the environment and animals are more valuable than human life. And that is where Earth Day ties in to all of this.
it is Jesus who sustains all living things, not the earth
On that day when the United Nations officially began recognizing International Mother Earth Day, President of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann said this: "International Mother Earth Day promotes a view of the Earth as the entity that sustains all living things found in nature." And that is also the foundation for Earth Day, isn't it?: "The earth sustains us, she gives us our food and our medicine. She takes care of us." But it's all wrong. The earth does not sustain us.
In fact, Jesus sustains the earth itself!
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17 (emphasis mine)
Jesus, all things were made in Him, through Him and for Him (Colossians 1: 16, John 1:3, 10). He is the sustainer of this earth. Of our lives. Of every single living creature. And non-living thing. He holds all things together. ALL of it. We're talking teensy weensy atoms to ginormous huge galaxies.
side note: how can you look at a picture like this, the most recent image released by the Hubble telescope, and not be in total awe of the Creator? Absolutely breathtaking.
William Barclay says it this way: "all the laws by which this world is order and not chaos are an expression of the mind of the Son. The law of gravity and the rest, the laws by which the universe hangs together, are not only scientific laws but also divine." In other words, Jesus is the glue. He is the law. It's by His strength and power and by His words that all thing are sustained and held together.
And that brings up a good point: if Jesus holds all things together, if He is the great sustainer and reconciler, than can man really destroy the earth? Do we actually have the power to end it?
the Lord determines the future of this planet, not us
"Man-made Climate Change." I'm convinced that satan loves how much attention we've paid to this concept. After all, scripture tells us that God is in control of the future. And He even lays out for us some details of what He is going to do to the earth in the end. Him, not us.
And yet, I fear that too many of us have bought into this silly idea that man somehow has the power to alter that plan? Folly. All of it.
When I read something like the Earth Charter, I could not be more convinced of how mankind has completely ignored the wisdom of God and believed our own foolishness.
In part, it says:
"We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny."
And yet, satan, the father of lies would have us buy into this lie: man-made global warming, climate change, whatever you want to call it, is going to be the end of us unless we do something about, now! But the truth is, God is in control. He is sovereign. He made this earth, remember?
the bottom line
What it really comes down to is that there is nothing wrong with treating the planet well, with respecting it even. We can be "green." We can recycle and plant trees. We can be good stewards, and we should be! But what is our motivation? Is it because we think our actions are going to end the earth prematurely? And are we elevating this planet above the very God who created it? Have we made the earth into an idol?
I think we have. And while the earth is good, even God said so, it isn't God. It doesn't sustain us. Its simply a part of creation that, as we stand in awe of it, it should cause us to turn and worship the God who made it.