A couple of years ago, I listened to a talk Scot McKnight gave on "The Whole Gospel". In this talk he expresses concern that we are not, as a church, preaching on Genesis through Revelation.
In "From Eternity to Here", Frank Viola states that most of the evangelical church today teaches from Genesis 3 to Revelation 20 and needs to look at Genesis 1 through Revelation 22.
Today, I listened to a message from Rob Bell at Mars Hill Bible Church titled The Importance of Beginning in the Beginning which talks about the same thing. He also states that if we do start at Genesis 3 rather than Genesis, our view of God changes and we start to separate the wonder of the creation from God himself.
Here is where the perfect storm starts....
Jerry Falwell stated (and apologized for saying) that the September 11 attacks on the US were God's judgement on homosexual sin in the US.
Others believed that the tsunamis in 2004 were God's judgement on the affected areas. Pat Robertson claimed the hurricanes which struck New Orleans were also God's judgement.
This week in Minneapolis, a tornado struck a Evangelical Lutheran (ELCA) church, causing minor damage. There was a claim that this is a warning from God to turn from "the approval of sin". This has caused a lot of controversy in the blogosphere. There is discussion here as well as links to some of the comments.
Why the perfect storm comment? Because this dovetails into the thoughts from Scot McKnight, Frank Viola and Rob Bell. I believe that those who declare natural disasters (large or small) to be Gods Judgement on (fill in the blank) are starting the Gospel at "The Fall", not at "Creation".
Did God use natural disasters as Judgement? In some cases, yes. One would be hard pressed to explain Sodom and Gomorrah as anything else. The difference is that there were no innocent parties involved there. That tends to hold up throughout scripture.