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. budman

    God doesn't exist so I really don't think anyone has to worry about May 21.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  2. KCOB

    Luke 12:40 and Matthew 24:44, "...the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

    March 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Gib 18:12, "... and will be in his pajamas."

      March 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • LetsThink123


      THe best way to keep your sheeple on their toes and always guessing your comeback is to tell them "...the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."

      March 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  3. pat cain

    In the immortal words of Ron White "If your gonna do it do it good I don't wanna limp away from this wreck"

    March 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  4. donamarante

    Everyone knows that something is going on with the World but just can't put a finger on it! Something is going to break sooner or later, if it already hasn't! We were created to bring heaven on earth, have we as a species really screwed that one up. Children killing children, parents killing children, and parents being killed by children to add just a few things to the list. I've heard many times, if it's not written in stone that it must be true. Oh by the way, there is one culture who did write in stone the date towards the end of time as we would know it!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      If "everybody knows thusandsuch" then it ain't true by at least ten thousand to one.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • Carla

      From reading through this string, it should be obvious to the meanest intelligence that actuality and belief are being used synonymously. What you believe and what IS are possibly equivalent, but most likely disparate and opposite. Just 'cause you believe it doesn't make it real (Visual: Santa Claus and Alice in Wonderland drinking tea with Noah and democracy).

      March 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  5. David

    I have read the Holy Bible. There is no one know when it will be end of world. The Bible said Jesus told that no one know when it will be, even angels of God doesn't know, too also Jesus said " I do not know when, Only My Father knows ". If people knows when it will be end why not Jesus know? NOBODY knows. Only God knows. We have to keep to open our eyes to watch the signs coming. Have faith in God and Jesus Christ.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • JAdams1776


      March 8, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Bob

      The Bible claims Jesus said he would return during the lives of the people he was speaking to. So he is about 2000 years overdo.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • Carla

      David, is that "Holy Bible" different from "the Bible?" What makes it holy, other than the pronouncements of men? Hmmm, another madman on the loose glorifying stuff (think, Hitler, Stalin Qaddafi).

      March 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      I'm regurgitating what Bob said, which a quote as proof from your holy bible.
      ("I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." – Matthew 24:34)
      ' till all these things be fulfilled' -> Jesus meant that the apocalypse and his second coming would occur before the last person of this generation died! that means that when a baby was born on the day that he made his statement, and that baby grew up, he would come back before that baby died (before his generation has passed). He failed to come back!
      So what exactly are you waiting for David?

      March 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  6. RevRog

    The bible actually says the world will never end. I don't know the day the rapture comes and the earth is plunged into the final 7 years of hell-on-earth before Christ's return, but I can say to the scoffers with certainty, "It is coming very, very soon." I echo the words of the one who said, repent, turn from your rebellion and accept Jesus' love and salvation. He died for you, what else could He do? Now is the time! Don't wait.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Supplies are limited. Call now.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
    • maxmax

      how do you know who Jesus Christ died for? He died for His people and His people only. Because whoever He died for they MUST go to heaven.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  7. SHC

    May as well quit my job and fit in as much fun as possible before 5/21/11. How many "end of the worlds" have there been already/ How many times can it end?

    March 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  8. Thinkb4Upost

    This is not the first time Camping has made a bold prediction about Judgment Day.

    On Sept. 6, 1994, dozens of Camping's believers gathered inside Alameda's Veterans Memorial Building to await the return of Christ, an event Camping had promised for two years. Followers dressed children in their Sunday best and held Bibles open-faced toward heaven.

    But the world did not end. Camping allowed that he may have made a mathematical error. He spent the next decade running new calculations, as well as overseeing a media company that has grown significantly in size and reach.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Bob

      Harold also predicted the end of time on two different dates in 1996. So this is number four.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • Shaan Phillips

      That is not true. Mr Comping did write a book in 1992 asking if september 06, 1994 was the day of judgement. the book had a big question mark on it. you should have mentioned the question mark. Again the book 1994 did mention that 2011 is likely to be the a high probability of the end, however, Mr comping as everyone else at the time did not have the proof to prove this may 21, 2011 to be the exact day. so when people state that Comping predicted 1994 they don't say it all because they don't mention the questionmark. it was question bookmark it wasn't afirmative book. thanks

      March 8, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Saan Phillips

      What about may 21st 2011 then? did camping also put many question marks behind it? u said high probability that may 21st 2011 is the second coming, that means camping has allowed himself to be both right and wrong at the same time LOL. If the world comes to an end, he is right. And if it does not (which is what will happen), he is still right cause he mentioned 'high probability'! dont you see that you have been duped?
      You have been subjected to what we call a 'Barnum statement' which means that the statement will be true for BOTH outcomes. Please think rationally. Thanks.

      March 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  9. Red

    If it comes down to it, JAdams 1776, Chuck Norris, Bear Grylls, and myself will hold a conference with God (Kanye will provide the marble conference tables) and we'll see if we can get a little more lead time on this armageddon thing. I'll keep you all posted.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Sorry Red, apparently the almighty kumquat isn't taking my calls.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Red

      That's cuz Verizon doesn't have good service up there...and it's not like he's gonna go with anyone else but Big Red cuz if he's gotta be omnipresent, he'd better have the most coverage.

      March 8, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  10. Ed - Spring, Tx

    Every day is the end of our world as we know it. Welcome to a new day!

    March 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  11. CityOfSinGuy

    1) No God will or can destroy Earth – WE will.
    2) Brimstone and Fire is NOT coming to destroy us – Only a Meteoroid will create that havoc.
    3) The Bible is a book of stories – So is Grimm's Fairy Tales
    4) People are weak minded – yes I mean YOU
    5) I don't care if you are mad – take a number
    6) Allah is not going to help you – or ANY God.

    Welcome to the End of The World, let the party begin!

    p.s. What happen to the Mayan Calendar?

    March 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  12. Colin

    Adams, let's u aznd I set upa web site where true believers can deposit bets that the World will end. If it does, we agree to pay them 10X their bet. If not we keep it. I bet they don't even see the minor flaw in my business case.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      I'm in.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Phil Terupt

      I see the flaw – the site is being run by a maniac

      March 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  13. Will

    just like all of the other doomsday cults. they give a date, that date comes and nothing happens. The world may end one day, but not in our lifetime.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  14. PHIL

    Delusional weirdos.

    March 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  15. Al

    25 C.E.

    Breaking News!!!

    A man who goes by the name of Jesus claims that the end is near.

    And now back to "Gladiators: The Untold Stories"

    March 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  16. Chris

    When the world doesn't end on May 21, 2011 these people will then claim that their "calculations" we're off.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chris


      March 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Bob

      So true. The chance that Christians of any stripe will lose faith because of this bad prediction are ZERO. The only negative is the length of time could be greater before the next end of time prediction.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  17. philosopher king

    mans concept of marking time, is irrelevant in the scheme of things, a squirrel does not know what day it is. this planet and its inhabitants are not going anywhere until our star, which we call the sun, super novas. either that or through some human induced nuclear or yet to be discovered device which could destroy us first. May 21st 2011 or Dec. 21st 2012 ... it is all just a man created number with no divine significance ... sorry folks ... looks like work as usual ... at least for some of us!

    March 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  18. Kit

    I thought it was December 21? Isn't that the end of the Myan Calender?

    March 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Jonboy

      I think that's in 2012. Plenty of time for sinning and paying off credit cards.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  19. ohdearsom1

    wow we are just at the start of what is to come.

    what their doing messing around with the bible

    it says that there will be trials before his return we have only just begun

    1. war and lawlessness

    2.drought and famines


    4. deasie

    5. false phroftes

    and other signs

    March 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • JAdams1776

      Dogs and cats living together?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Red

      I'm not trying to rustle anyone's jimmies here, but I'll bet that if Snake Pliskin cut all of the electrical power to the planet, that would be a pretty good sign of an armageddon

      March 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • ShaneCo.

      Items 1 through 5 have been around for thousands of years before and after the time of the bible.
      Come on, dude!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Jonboy

      All of those things you listed have existed before time began...Except "deasie," I don't know what that is.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • maxmax

      when many come in the name of Christ but are not really saved. This is when the end will come.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • Ken

      May 21st is a Saturday, Can we move the end of the world to May 23rd that way I can miss work.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • NonstickMage

      Well there's...

      1. Libya

      2. Australia

      3. New Zealand

      4. AIDS

      5. The people in the RV

      March 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  20. Shaan Phillips

    Jesus is coming whether we believe he is or not it is not about us it is about God doing what he has promised thousands years ago. What we can do now is crying to God for his mercy and repent our many sins, However, I can not ignore that human being by nature are so elegant by billions but those who humbles themself and cry to God for mercy God will not ignore them . the key word is repentance and humbling ourself may be God will have mercy on us seeing that we are rebellious against God and his holy word the Bible.

    March 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Colin

      Soooo, did ya enjoy the Kool Aid, Shaan?

      March 8, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Adam PT

      Then, again ... all those promises pointed clearly to a claimed return within a generation (within the lives of those hearing it). Paul even hated the idea of children on that point (they would be a pointless distraction, because the return would happen so soon).

      Didn't happen then, so why thousands of years later?

      March 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Michael Stipe

      You're about 24 years late.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • snowboarder

      dear lord, some people are nutty.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
    • Luis Wu

      When will people wake up and realize, it' just old myths? It's pathetic.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:27 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.