Worship the Creator, not the creation
Note: I originally wrote this in 2009.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. -- Romans 1:22-25
Last year, I came across a YouTube video of a group of hippies wailing for dead trees, mourning the destruction of plant life.
The video is amusing, because the people are acting so foolishly. After all, it's just another plant. Trees do not have souls, and are not made in the image of God like mankind. Trees cannot even provide the kind of companionship one has with a pet such as a dog or cat, and trees cannot suffer or feel pain. Why mourn for them? Upon deeper examination, though, this video is not funny at all. It is very sad.
A significant portion of the environmental movement is about worshipping the earth itself, rather than being good stewards of what God has given us while having dominion over the earth. We see this in statements that elevate nature over man, such as a recent letter to the editor that implied that animals are somehow more noble than humans.
This is why I have serious reservations about many evangelical churches embracing "social justice" issues like environmentalism without any sort of discernment and warning about the paganism that is interwoven into the environmentalist movement. Pastors and elders are placed into positions of authority by God to shepherd His flock and guard against serious sin like idolatry. But when Christian churches abandon discernment for what is politically popular at the moment (as if Jesus Christ, crucified by the Romans at the order of His own people, cared about what was popular) they are playing with fire in more ways than one.
As I said before, we are to be good stewards of what God has provided for us. We should not wantonly pollute or destroy the natural environment. Economic progress has brought pollution, but it has also brought a significant increase in health, longevity, quality of life and wealth. To the extent we can reduce pollution and be good stewards, we should do so, and there should be reasonable limits in place to protect the environment. We must never forget, however, we have been made in the image of God and we are commanded by God to have dominion over the earth and everything on the earth. (See Genesis 1:28)