Tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanoes, and floods! The violence that can rage from within the Earth is massive, overwhelming, and devastating. Insurance companies call these natural disasters “acts of God”. Is that a fair assessment? Is God to blame? How could a supposedly good God allow so much suffering and destruction … and do nothing? How exactly do natural disasters fit into the Christian worldview?
I believe all these examples of geologic activity should be traced back to the original geologic catastrophic event known as the worldwide flood of Noah’s time. A lot of people are going to have a difficult time with this explanation because they’ve discarded the flood as either a local event or myth, but hear me out…
A good God would not have created a broken world. I believe the scriptures tell the story of a perfect creation marred by sin. Yes, God did curse the world following original sin and nothing has been the same since, but I don’t believe natural disasters were a result of that curse. A lot of people do not realize that the flood was a massive, worldwide cataclysmic event that decimated the land and tore apart the continents. The Bible describes the “fountains of the great deep burst forth” (Gen. 7:11). Many Christians maintain that this is the point where tectonic plate activity began. Prior to this we believe there was a massive single continent. We believe it was during this year-long flood event that the continents were separated and moved much closer to their current locations. During that massive tectonic activity we would also expect a great deal of volcanic activity all over the planet that very well would have covered the skies in a massive ash cloud. Some Christian scientists hypothesize that this giant ash cloud would have led to a several hundred year ice age as it blocked out sun rays while the cloud slowly dissipated.
Christians who take the flood accounts literally can trace the genesis of all geologic activity to that event. We also believe that all subsequent geologic disasters are in essence after-shocks of that year-long catastrophism as the world heals. In this view, each new natural disaster is a reminder of the wrath God played out on the world during the flood and a reminder of impending doom when the whole world is judged again through fire!
Some Christians will say “but the flood never happened, where’s the evidence”? Well, I just named some of the evidence: every single tornado, earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, etc. You are welcome to a different interpretation, but then I would ask you: “how do you explain natural disasters in a world governed by a good God?” Whether you like it or not, I have provided an answer consistent with the scriptures. Natural disasters are horrible consequences of a perfectly-created world that rejected God, was judged by water, and will be judged again. When Jesus says “I am the door” (John 10:9) he is referring to the door on the Ark that God closed. Eventually each person’s door for salvation will be closed as well.