I think the misunderstanding that has happened in this thread hinges round the following issue.
: The original question posed was. ‘Are / is The Asian Tradgedy a prophetic sign.
The answer could well be ‘yes’, if you believe that it was scripturally forseen that earthquakes would become larger and more frequent during ‘the end times’.
However even though that may be true it does not mean that ‘God’ is responsible for actually causing the event, only for predicting, (through scripture), the possibility of such events happening. (A not too difficult prediction as it turns out, in view of the way the earth’s crust naturally behaves).
Does it signal the ‘end times’? We can’t possibly know for sure. We will have to wait and see. There are far more specific ‘prophecies’ that as yet remain unfulfilled. Until they come to pass we can’t be absolutely sure that the parousia is impending.
For this reason I consider speculation to be futile and rather pointless. In any event the advice our saviour gave was ‘when you see these things happening look up (i.e. be of good cheer, don’t be afraid, do whatever is in your power to encourage and help others by exercising your faith and offering practical assistance).
Our task is not to speculate but to help. All those homeless suffering people are ‘Christ’. Our choice is to feed and clothe ‘him’ or not. The choice will determine whether we will be sheep or goats on the judgement day. [Math. 25:31-46]
The worse thing we can do is treat them as if they have suffered some kind of divine retribution, as I heard an Asian Moslem cleric postulating. This is both an insult to the Almighty and a cruel judgement on the victims, which I’m sure will be held to his ‘account’ by God (or in his case Allah), come judgement day.
Q. Is it a prophetic sign. Ans = Perhaps.
Q. Did God ‘do it’. Ans = No. It was a natural result of plate tectonics.
Q. Could it have been avoided. Ans = Not entirely but an early warning system would have helped. Perhaps if the Governments of the Nations of the World who spend the most on armaments could divert a small fraction of their arms procurement budgets to addressing that problem, a similar disaster might be avoided in future.
Q. Will that happen. Ans = Probably not.
Would God be to blame for that? I think not.