The Notre Dame Fire: 2 Thoughts

Posted on April 16, 2019


By David Ettinger

Unfortunate Occurrence
On Monday, April 15, 2019, a fire broke out during construction work on the revered Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries resulted in the blaze, though the 850-year-old structure suffered massive damage, including the collapse of its iconic spire and part of its roof.

The fire was an unfortunate occurrence as Notre Dame Cathedral is considered “the jewel of medieval Gothic architecture” as well as an active place of worship.

Thought 1: Misdirected Grief
Naturally the people of France were anguished as they would sense “one of their own” suffering harm. However, as I was listening to a conservative morning talk show here in Orlando, the on-air personalities were also talking about how “overwhelmed” they were by this “tragedy” and how “grieved” they felt.

I couldn’t help thinking how typical this was of the human race. Though Notre Dame is architecturally revered, it is but a building. It is also a building which houses “relics” – items believed to have been a part of the life of Christ. Notre Dame’s relics include what Roman Catholics claim is part of the crown of thorns Jesus wore during His crucifixion; a piece of the cross upon which He was crucified; and a nail used during the crucifixion.

Add to this the name “Notre Dame,” which means “Our Lady” – a reference to Jesus’ mother Mary, to whom the cathedral was dedicated.[1] Sadly, the Roman Catholic religion espouses worship of Mary, who in reality was but a righteous Jewish teenager named Miriam at the time she gave birth to our Lord. She later gave birth to more children.

Ultimately, it was the iconic, historic, and architectural significance of this house of corrupted religion which was of concern, not the One to whom the cathedral should have been dedicated.

I can’t help think how the millions lamenting the fire have absolutely no idea that it is the state of their own souls they should be grieving. It is a deluded and blinded people which mourns the destruction of bricks and wood while that which lasts for eternity – the soul – smolders in its sin.

Thought 2: Things to Come
The Notre Dame Cathedral fire serves as a sobering preview of what is to come upon Planet Earth in the end times. The apostle Peter makes this clear (italics added):

But by His [God’s] word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. … But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up (2 Peter 3:7, 10).

The Notre Dame fire, though manmade, could be viewed as symbolizing God’s coming judgment on all that is corrupted – in this case certain religions – and evil – in this case the vanity of the human race idolizing the creation of its own hands.

Those overwhelmed with grief over the fire of Notre Dame Cathedral need to turn their grief inward – to the flames which will engulf their eternal souls if they go to their graves without having believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

May we who call Jesus “Lord” be found diligent in praying for the salvation of the lost.