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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. Jerry

    Only our Lord knows that time and day, so why worry it will happen in the wink of the eye.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  2. James

    Oh god(intended). I hope there is a rapture for all the believers, then I wouldnt worry about getting crucified by the local baptists in my closed minded community.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  3. ...

    I guess they think they're helping people by warning them and stuff. It's what they believe so it's kinda one of those 'what can ya do?' things. It's pretty much believe or not believe it 🙂

    March 8, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
  4. AJ

    What happen if I make borrow a big loan from the bank and fully expect that I have no need to it back b/c the world is going to end anyway on May 11th but it didn't?

    March 8, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  5. Chulk

    I thought Dec 21st, 2012 was the day the world suppose to end?

    Me thinks the world actually ends...when you die.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  6. Lewis Crise

    It IS going to happen. Consensus has nothing to do with it. Biblical truth must never be changed in submission to public pressure or to accommodate public consensus. When questions arise over the meaning or application of an important doctrine, they should be carefully researched against what the Word of God says and then discussed privately among spiritually mature and Biblically informed Christians. We have many examples in the Bible of just one person being correct when all others were wrong. Noah knew! The world...did NOT. The 450 prophets of Baal were incorrect as all of the churches and false "Christians" today are. They have no truth. Only the Bible is truth and very few recognize the truth. And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table. So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded. And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. (1 Kings 18:17-46)

    March 8, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
    • DAT

      You are correct. it is going to happen. in 5 billion years when our sun runs out gas or the Andromeda galaxy crashes into ours. but not by some fairy tale person or being. hopefully we will be advanced enough in 5 bill to leave this rock and find somewhere new to go.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • Kurt

      I'll take all your Worldly possessions then. As you dont want to be rich during the rapture, and compared to biblical times, rich is pretty much having any money.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Carla

      Oh my goodness, you really believe this idiocy? "It must not be questioned. . . " Holy mackerel, that sound like Qaddafi.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
    • Dawn

      It's funny how subjective biblical "Truth" is.

      All that time you spent writing that tirade you could have read a book with OTHER knowledge in it. LIke how to press flowers or knit or paint or something constructive instead of passing holy judgement on everyone else.

      March 8, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  7. robertsdanita

    Many people think what's about to happen in the near future ia no laughing matter
    never be fooled by what's taken place worldwide nor cose your eye's as to what is really taking place if one doesn't read the Bible well all the asnswers are there Luke21, Matt,24,Is:55:11 godn is not one to be mocked at all because what you reap is what you will sow ps:83:18 read for youself

    March 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  8. ChicagoComments

    The only rapture I want is to spend the weekend nekkid with my girlfriend in a warm and cozy bed. If driving around in a van in anticipation of a religious rapture that your faith (belief without evidence, and headed by a violent and toxic god) compels you to act on, so much the better for you. Just don't waste my time with your pathetic attempt to give meaning to your lives. If you want your lives to mean something then help people who have little hope, and support them as they face the everyday losses that define the human existence.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  9. Sabrina

    Wow! I wonder what these people smoked or snorted. I WANT SOME!!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  10. Sabrina

    Sounds like these people had a little to much fun with drugs.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  11. DAT

    I want to talk with god's parents and tell them to tell little god to stop playing with his humans or he is going to go blind.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  12. Sean

    ...Also, my wedding date is the 21st. I wonder if that's a bad sign. Should be an interesting reception. Whatever... I guess I dont have to worry about having hang-over the next morning.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  13. J Coatney

    It would be nice if the whole world would end tomorrow. Humanity would never have to grow wise, more tolerant and less prejudiced. We would never have to solve the hard problems of living together in peace, or learn how to feed ourselves without destroying the planet and her species. Yes, doomsday would be a welcome respite from these responsibilities. What do you tell your maker on judgement day, when you show up well fed, with money in the bank and a voting record that says you're all for war and hoarding the wealth of the planet? Will your maker judge you kindly, as you stand next to a starving child from Africa or Haiti? How do you explain that you did nothing to save the oceans or the life that teems in our wilderness? Do you think hours of watching Armani clad televangelists beg for money will satisfy the requirement set forth by your savior? I think humanity has a long way to go, before we earn the reward of being welcomed on the cosmic doorstep of our creator. I think we at least have to clean up our room and play nice with each other.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  14. PulTab

    to anyone who believes this psycho crap: if you are giving your stuff away, i will be happy to take cash, cars, and houses off your hands. motorcycles and atv's are ok too.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Sabrina

      Same here. Give me the money and you can have the cars.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
  15. brucemo

    What I can't figure out is why CNN has advertised this twice now. "Here is a group that claims some crazy thing. We will prominently display their web address. If you go there, there is a link that lets you give them money."

    I wonder how much they made off this. Are you going to do a report on what happened to all of the money on May 22?

    March 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  16. Larry

    If you look at history you will see that even in the first century there were people that gave alway all of their possessions and claimed the end of the world was near. I guess they were wrong as now nearly 2000 years later we are still here. My bet is this will repeat itself again and on May 22, 2011 we will wake up and some will have a red face of embarrassment. I see no proof of such an end. But Science does prove many things and not the end.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  17. Pointless1

    LMAO – See ya all May 22nd.. LMAO...

    March 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  18. Richard

    Oh yeah. The world was supposed to end on 1/1/2000 wasn't it? Plus, my credit card says it expires in 2014, so at least the bank has a vested interest in my survival until then. Even if god doesn't come, 2012 probably won't kill me either.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  19. JustPlainJoe

    Why do we even give media space to psychotic ramblings?

    For 2000 years, apocalypse has always been in the lifetimes of the believers.
    Hundreds of "false alarms" later, the believers continue to await.... perhaps you are wrong.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Dawn

      There's been a Derth of reports of hunters killing bigfoot and keeping it in a chest freezer.

      March 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  20. Matt

    I feel sorry for people who are so easily deluded into thinking such nonsense. These folks will be left with nothing but the shame of knowing they were duped. I can't help but think they'll be even MORE certain of their irrational position on May 22.

    March 8, 2011 at 6:32 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.