What man builds over decades can be destroyed in moments; What God imparts in a moment can last an eternity.
It is the Cross that seals the deal.
When I heard about the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral the other day I was immediately saddened. I am no longer a Catholic-Christian, I am Christian (Non-denominational, reformed) I might add. And though I am no longer Catholic, I still value and respect the immense design and beauty that the Cathedral captures. I do feel many of the early Christians built it as a direct display that points to the beauty of an awesome, awe-inspiring Creator. With that said I will be authentic and reveal that I have much disagreement with many teachings of the Catholic Church. I will also say that never stands in the way of my love for Catholics, including those who know God personally and those who are still lost (in Catholicism) but do not realize it. I had read several articles about the fire and seen several pictures of the aftermath. Here’s one that stuck with me:
That image says a lot more than meets the eye. “The Cross Still Stands” would be a beautiful caption. I had prepared to write something amidst the aftermath and amidst the devastating, but later in the day decided not to write about it for the fact that I thought my words might be mistaken. However after reading more on this today I want to speak about it a little bit.
There is an article that was posted on charismamag.com. The article is titled, “What Holy Spirit Told Me About Notre Dame Burning” (Shiflett, 2019). It goes on to speak about what the Author believes the Holy Spirit communicated to her in the aftermath of this burning. Shiflett (2019) says she “Is not trying to make light of it at all or speak disparagingly of the Catholic Church.” It is a terrible thing that happened, regardless of the reason. I’d agree with her there.
She went on to say though that immediately after she sensed the Lord saying, “Look up what the name ‘Notre Dame’ means” (Shiflett, 2019). It literally means “Our Lady,” or specifically “Our Mother,” referencing the Virgin Mary (Shiflett, 2019). Shiflett (2019) goes on to talk about how she sensed the Lord saying that “Though many in the Catholic Church do not hold the view of idolizing Mary, many others do and that many of the teachings of the Catholic church are in error and have much pagan idolatry intertwined with them.” I would not disagree, sadly. When I personally learned what the Bible had to say as a teenager, I was stunned by the simplicity of it. This wasn’t the simple doctrine I learned growing up Catholic. I did not find such simplicity in the Catholic church of my upbringing. I also never found such practices such as the elevation of Mary in the Bible.
Though I and the author hold Mary in high esteem as Bible believing Christians, as Shiflett (2019) states she was an absolutely amazing woman who was the earthly mother of our Lord, there is no evidence she was Jesus’ “heavenly mother”. She was a “favored righteous woman, but that is all” (Shiflett, 2019).
The Author says, “When Mary is exalted to a god-like status, which many Catholics do this time of year, the principality of the “queen of heaven” (Lilith, Ashtoreth, Baal’s consort and so on) is actually the one who is lifted up and worshipped, although most in Catholicism do not realize that” (Shiflett, 2019).
Holy Week is about Jesus, not Mary or anyone else (Shiflett, 2019).
I don’t typically like or value speculations about things after events like the Notre Dame Cathedral burning, but I did feel I wanted to write about this because there is always something spiritual going on. The problem is, many are not aware because the spiritual realm is unseen. Could it be the enemy attacked Paris for a reason? Is it to distract us from something else? Quite possibly.
Is it a coincidence this is happening during Holy Week? I don’t know.
One thing I do know is God loves Christians across all denominations of Christianity. There is beauty in Christianity that crosses denominational lines. When we get to heaven, God will not see us as Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, or Pentecostal. God will see us as children. Might we begin seeing each other that way to, if we have in fact received Jesus as our Lord? It is simple. Man complicates what God has made simple!
I do not like to say that God “caused this” and that because it can be destructive thinking, and in the end it’s just speculation. It may be better stated to ask if God allowed it? And if so might it be to display that God is done with idol “worship?” That He wants the hearts of His people, not relics? This is what the Author is implying. Do you see the beauty amidst the ashes? That the Cross. Still. Stands. And that it is all that really matters.
We so often want something more than Jesus; Jesus is everything. You can’t have more than everything.Michael Koulianos
Some want “relics,” others want to elevate people to ‘higher ranks’ within Christiantiy (saints); meanwhile the Bible declares that all believers are in fact “saints.”
In Christian denominations outside Catholicism some want “light shows, entertainment, and convenience with Jesus stamped on the whole package.
News flash. Jesus IS the package. Nothing more. Nothing less. Jesus. Is. Everything.
The Cross has the final word.
April 17, 2019
Shiflett, A. (2019, April). What Holy Spirit Told Me About Notre Dame Burning. Charismanews. Retrieved from https://www.charismanews.com/opinion/75983-what-holy-spirit-told-me-about-notre-dame-burning