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Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?
Some Christians believe Judgment Day is just around the corner. Their job is to warn the people.
March 8th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Your Take: Is it the end of the world as we know it?

By Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Note to self: When writing about the End, expect no end of comments.

On Sunday we published “Road trip to the end of the world,” about a group that’s traveling by RV to spread a May 21 doomsday warning. You’ve posted about 10,000 comments on the story. And that doesn’t touch your responses to a sidebar, in which we took you on a historical journey called “Doomsdays throughout time.”

There’s no way to condense the opinions of all of you who expressed them, but here are some of the themes that seemed to emerge.

Doom and gloom has never been so fun

Plenty of you responded with humor, grateful for the news that will let you max out credit cards, avoid summer lawn mowing and forget about studying for final exams.

Some bemoaned the fact that plans you'd looked forward to would be canceled, like JohnDoee who said:

I just booked a vacation to Mexico starting May 21st. Wonder if my trip insurance covers end of the world.

Others invoked a certain headline-grabbing celeb, saying you’d put his antics to shame. Said GQPulbic:

If I knew with absolute certainly the world was ending in three months I would make Charlie Sheen look like a choir boy. Nothing would be off limits.

Still others decided to use the space as a virtual Craigslist of sorts, a venue to snag belongings that have been left behind. Wrote PL90210:

My wife and I are looking for a swingset for our daughter. If any of you have a swingset and feel your family has more important things to do between now and May 21st and wouldn't mind us having it, could you reply back and we can set something up?

No laughing matter

What you read also worried you. You expressed concerns about potential violence and mass suicide, and some even worried that these faithful RV travelers might be “terrorists.” Said Buddesatva:

These folks are mentally unbalanced. The kindest thing that we can do for them is get all of them into a program and I would stongly advise taking the children away. This thing smacks of a suicide cult. Whenever people start talking in superlatives and absolutes, you know that you have a psychosis in the works. The state needs to intervene now before people, specifically children end up getting hurt.

More than anything, those expressing such concern pointed to children who are not only being exposed to these teachings but are actually out there spreading the word, too. We introduced you to one young girl, Arianna, and learning about her got SpaceyG, who quoted part of the story, going:

Not harming innocent people in this, eh? 'It scares me a little bit because some people are going to die, and I think I'm one of them,' she adds. 'I'm trying to do good things, but I'm afraid I'm doing something bad.' Arianna is 7, after all, and being good all the time cannot be easy. Her father stands next to her, nodding his approval. Bless her frightened little heart. I hope she finds a good lawyer on May 22 to sue for punitive emotional damages.

To believe or not to believe

The story drew in many believers, though your beliefs differ, as well as those of you who dismiss religion altogether.

Summing up his (or her) anger was the aptly named AngryAtheist:

All religions are a disease. There's no way we can advance as a people when we all believe in gods that do absolutely nothing to prove an existence. You're taught from an early age when your parents forced you to go to church to learn fairy tales. Open your sheep minds… That fairy tale book called the bible was written by those in power to keep the power, to control the masses, and to gain wealth. There isn't a god, nor was there ever one.

But these sort of responses had plenty of faithful readers fighting back. Some voiced that you, too, believe the end is near, but unlike this group of travelers you refuse to nail down a date. Hundreds threw out scripture, reminding us that “No man will know the day or hour,” and that Jesus will return “like a thief in the night.” Said SBack89: 

Jesus actually states in the Bible, 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. But about the day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.' (Matthew 24:35-36). So as Christ says, He has not even been told by His Father in heaven as to when exactly the world will end. So this group of people are going directly against the Bible, the true word of God.

What’s next?

Countless readers wondered what these doomsday travelers will do when they wake up on May 22 and nothing has changed.

Chilcat: "I Reeeeealy hope CNN will do a story on the poor deluded folks on May 22nd." In a quick response, we heard from Wzrd1: "One can wish. But, given CNN's attention span, or lack thereof, they won't. : ( "

Oh, Wzrd1, ye of little faith ...

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: Belief • Bible

soundoff (1,121 Responses)
  1. *Special*

    THIS SOOOOOOO STUPID!! IN THE BIBLE IT SAYS NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY WHEN CHRIST WILL RETURN!! DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  2. daryl the canadian

    I agree with the lad who stated all religions were designed to "keep people down" and in control. Here's a good question for all those christians out there. You people state emphatically the "only way to heaven is thru Christ". Well good for you. Now, I ask, how did people get to "heaven" BEFORE Christ was around??

    March 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Krabz

      Christ was always around. In the Old Testament he is known as Jehovah.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • madarain

      How did people get to heaven before Chirst? They didnt...they are dead in the ground, waiting as the bible clearly says for Christ's return. The jews were told to make a blood sacrfice of a perfect animal once a year (or more) to atone for their sins. If they did this and we re serious then their faith was credited as righteousness (being sinless in God's eyes) When Jesus returns they will be resurrected. One reason Jesus' death is significant is that he was the last sacrifice of a perfect being that God required to cover for the sins of other guilty people. Jesus death does not make poeple perfect or righteous in the sense that they are not sinners, but rather "Paid up" in the sense that the sins they commited have been paid for by him. Who died so they could have a zero balance...redeemed.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @madarain
      "They didnt...they are dead in the ground"
      Yes! Finally something i agree with you on.
      But here's the bad part, christ said he would return but failed. Jesus was wrong when he said he would come back after the last person of his generation died! ("I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." – Matthew 24:34) By all these things fulfilled he was talking about his 2nd coming after the supposed apocalypse. Guess what, Jesus never came back because he was just a man. plain and simple.
      Don't you think its convenient that Jesus did not set a specific date as to when the world would end? If he did specify a date, that date would come and go and he would be wrong! If u were Jesus and had to choose between specifying a date for when the world will end or keep people guessing for an eternity, what would u choose? Seems pretty obvious choice to me!

      March 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  3. Shaan Phillips

    Thank you CNN for finaly letting everybody know what is going on and what is coming. this is one of the most important news you ever reported to my knowledge. We believe that Jesus is coming within two months and few days to come and we can't thank you good enough for letting everyone who whatches you to know of this good news for the believers and tragic news for the unbeliever known by your viewers. the coming of Jesus does not have to be agreed by everybody, it doesn't have to come from those who are known as the big churches or big believers, It has to come from the Bible and the Bible only. And we don't have to everything by naked eye to know that the world is coming to an end but through the Bible. let me say this again whether we believe this to be true or not it does not change anything it come happen. thank you and may God save you all and open your eyes to the truth by his grace which are found in our savoiur Jesus Christ.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      I'll see you on the 22nd... You better have a good reason (err... excuse) for why your prophecy didn't come true.
      Also, please look up 'Second Coming of Christ' on wikipedia and scroll down to the 'specific date predictions'. There you can see how many times people did the same thing you are doing, and have failed. Jesus didn't return.

      March 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
  4. Terry in WA

    If you want to believe in the book it says no one will know when... calendar dates are nice for a laugh, like this one in May... no fight it out with the Mayan date and – what drama.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  5. Ames

    Whether we believe the same as someone else or not about their end of the world beliefs, where's the respect that those who are so arrogant and snide should have been brought up with ? Who really knows the answer ?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  6. jmsdh

    Some like No Comment are quick to call the doomsdayers complete morons. Well, I think they're misguided, too. You know, I think someday (long after May 21) people will say the people of the world in 2011 were "complete morons" for sending animals to slaughter, promoting conflict among nations, hording wealth, overpopulating, spreading disease by promiscuity, and making excuse after excuse for relying on polluting and unsustainable oil fuels. I'm not sure after all if I or anyone I know is less of a moron than the people on the road trip to the end days.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  7. SAKs

    Ha haa all you guys are funny ..... but I agree to what James the Just has to say. All this hype abt the Judgment date! is a proof that this nation has forgotten the base on which it has been built...for heaven's sake come back to basics....stop running about all different things ...study the WORD .. it says "Be still and know that Iam God"...Repent ...ask for forgivness .

    March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  8. madarain

    The world will not end in 2012, according to biblical prophesy (which is amazingly accurate) It may however be part of the beginning of the Small Tribulation which will ultimately lead to the Great Tribulation with the appreance of the antichrist and then the triumphant return of Jesus Christ. Regarding Biblical Prophesy: There were over 360 prophecies foretold about the coming Jewish Messiah – hundreds of years before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Jesus fulfilled all 365 of these prophecies. Of these 360+ prophecies, there are 109 that only Jesus (the specific person) could have fulfilled and did. The mathemetical probabilities of this are staggering...1×10 to the 157th power...more than all the electrons in the known universe...A big number that says God's word is no accident and Jesus is no myth.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  9. Red

    If you survive past the 21st, you get a +4 Stamina, +2 Strenth, and the option to play through life again on a challenge mode, or warp to before the 21st.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  10. Michael S

    google his name and see for yoruself Harold Camping! He is NUTS!!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  11. Krabz

    I do confess that I am curious about the motivation to make such a pronouncement. Is there something "in it" for those who can make people believe this date? I can hardly believe that a legitimate man of god would want to levy this kind of info on a people without some other motive in mind. The true news story would be to dig and find out why.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Carla

      It's that ol' sin of pride – being the cognoscenti who said it first! It was I, they gloat. So I am better than you because I believe (this stupidity).

      March 8, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  12. Michael S

    NOBODY KNOWS THE TIME OR DATE AS PER ONLY TRUE WORD OF GOD CHRISTIAN BIBLE!!! FURTHERMORE, THE WACKO WHO PREDICTED THIS WAS WRONG 4++ TIMES PREVIOUSLY! THE NUT IS HAROLD CAMPING!! HE IS A INSANE PERSON WHO CLAIMS TO BE A CHRISTIAN WHEN IN FACT HE DEFINTIELY APPEARS TO HAVE A MENTAL DISEASE!! PERHAPS THE WORLD MAY COME TO AN END ONE DAY BUT SURELY NOBODY KNOWS THE DATE!!! NASA REFERS TO SOLAR STORMS IN 2012 SPRING/SUMMER WHICH WOULD BE A CONCERN TO ME! REGARDLESS, I WOULD KEEP MY EYES ON JESUS CHRIST AND LISTEN TO A REAL ACCURATE CHRISTIAN RADIO STATION WLIXRADIO.COM AND NOT HAROLD THE WACKO CAMPING!!! GOODLE THIS IDIOTS NAME AND SEE THE FALSE CLAIMS HE MAKES REGULARLY!! GOD BLESS! IN JESUS!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Loren

      Eh...can you find the Bible verse that tells you how to turn off your CAPS LOCK key?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      It's in the book of Gibberish 3:16.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  13. Toph

    Yeah, right. This is news? How.

    I'll start the betting on which of the umpeen religions is the correct one. The vast majority of the world will be wrong if it does happen.

    Being an Athiest thought I know there will never be a judgement day. There isn't a god and a devil, no angels or sin. No noothing.I guess that I understand people that need god though. I just don'tunderstand why you think that life is hopeless? That's all that religion is. Something to make the hopeless feel better about themselves. That and to take your money and give nothing in return. Nothing but false hope.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • madarain

      I dont think you know the definition of the word "HOPE". Further, you dont know what day you will die on. You dont even know whether you will live thu the end of the week, You dont know what you future will hold or whether your lover has another on lover the side. In fact, the amount you know about your own life is amazing small and if you are honest you will admit that... you probably won't. But even though you know almost nothing about your own future, you expect complete strangers to accept that your version of reality & the totallity of human exisistence and the nature of the universe. I hope you know that you are a little too hopeful about what you do and do not know. Who are you to decide that looking for hope is so bad when you are clearly an expert at it.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
  14. JAdams1776

    If May 21 IS the end of the world, I must admit I'll be standing there saying, "Well, I'll be damned."

    March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Loren

      Comment of the day! Brilliant! I LOL.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  15. Perdurabo

    What's with all these silly religious articles on a news website? Anything that's supernatural or metaphysical isn't real, it's that simple. Just because someone wishes that they had some higher purpose or a soul, doesn't make it true. Primitive man made up explanations for the world around them, which we now know are false.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • Red

      What's with all these silly religious articles? You're typing on it, dude! Look how many people are commenting...viral.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • madarain

      @perdurabo "Anything supernatural or metaphysical isn't real" How do you know? Maybe your antennae are just broken. "Just because someone wishes that they had some higher purpose or a soul, doesn't make it true." It doesn't make it untrue, either. You may wish you didnt have a soul but you are in the vast minoirity? Primitive man made up explanations for the world around them, which we now know are false". True, and Modern man is busy doing the same thing. Just explain to everyone what happened before the "big bang" and we can all go home. The fact is that not all people are equally insightful. There was only one Edison, one Einstein, and one Da Vinci. Your claim to a superior point of view is nothing more than the spouting of someone who hasn't done the work trying to take the credit for an opinon which cannot be proven.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  16. Rob

    These people are kind of amusing, they claim to believe in the literal truth of the bible, except for the part that DIRECTLY contradicts what they are claiming.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  17. Gordon

    Seeing the way people behave these days, we could USE a little Judgement Day action, but I doubt we will get so lucky.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  18. ChurchGirl

    I believe Jesus is coming back for his people. It could be May 21st, who knows. The Bible says no one will know the day or the hour. If it is then I am ready. If it isnt it wont rock my faith. I read a website today http://ebiblefellowship.com/may21/
    according to this we have been in the Tribulation since 1988. I DONT believe God would leave his children here to live through the tribulation. I guess we can all check in on May 22 if we are still here.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      I'm skeptical of any religious belief that involves tribbles.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • darklyastir

      Fear is contagious

      March 8, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Churchgirl

      Jesus is not coming back because he was just a man. Jesus said he would come back after the last person of his generation died! ("I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." – Matthew 24:34) By all these things fulfilled he was talking about his 2nd coming after the supposed apocalypse. Guess what, Jesus never came back because he was just a man. plain and simple.
      If Jesus specified a date as to when he would return, that day would come and go and he would be wrong. It's easier to say 'you will never know when i will return' because that way the believers (like yourself) who BLINDLY without thinking believe this will stay in line and keep waiting for his return which will never happen.

      March 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  19. Bhavin

    I thought it was tomorrow.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  20. overcrazed

    “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ DON’T BELIEVE IT....However, NO ONE knows the day OR hour when these things will happen, NOT EVEN the angels in heaven OR the Son himself. ONLY the Father knows." Matt 24:23 and 36.

    Yes the things that go on here on earth is scary, but it's only temporary. And when it comes to people saying that "on this day, it will all end". Errrr...Wrong! Who are they to say? There have been countless stories of when the "end of the world" will happen and nothing happens! So, NO ONE KNOWS AT ALL! But that does not mean go through life unprepared.

    Every person here on earth is wired for something so much more, thats why you get that gut feeling in your stomach when you hear about death or end of the world or even to aspire to do something amazing with your life. God created us to have a relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. When in the relationship, He takes that fear about death away, removes your sins (past mistakes) and puts joy inside of you, because you now know where you're going to after you pass away. Life is not meant to be lived in fear, and you can get huge dosages of fear from people, news, judgement, guilt, money, weather, past mistakes and etc...

    One of the things that hold people away from God is pride and guilt. They feel as if they will be judged and attacked, BUT thats ALL FALSE! Jesus said it Himself, "for I have come to SAVE the world and NOT TO judge it." John 12:47 How? on the Cross, thats how. Thats how much YOU ARE LOVED! Things in life can only give you temporary security, Jesus gives us freely, our choice, eternal security through Him. No one is perfect, including myself. But that does not mean that this is all that their is to life. You know it yourself that it's true and know you are made for so much more. So what "fear" am I believing?

    And by the way, NONE of this is negative for your life, THIS IS POSITIVE FOR YOU AND THE WORLD! If you were in jail for 10, 20yrs or even life, and the cop came and opens your cell saying "you're free to go, someone has paid your bail." Would you pass that offer down? I think not! And thats exactly what Jesus did for us. He bailed us out of prison. This is a true "Bailout plan" for all of us. We're all in the same boat, every person. And we're all made to work TOGETHER instead of breaking each-other.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+24&version=NLT

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+3%3A16-17&version=NIV

    March 8, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • John316

      Amen.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.