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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. Wm. Tomlinson

    Hey Jess! Great BALANCED coverage. Sad and interesting; it is as many said the end is near. If anyone can look around at the world wide geopolitical/spiritual activity and not see it, it is only because, "... God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie" - -'pseudos' ~ whatever is not what it seems to be... "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." God would rather everyone believe in Him and the salvation He wrought for us through Christ Jesus the God/Man but for those who WILL NOT to believe, He helps them along in their unbelief so that even the obvious state of our world and its near future judgment is obscured from them.

    There is a world wide Anti-Christian religion rising. The tiniest of nations is hated by all the world. The 'world' screams that these people control all the news and yet all of the news rails against them and on that scenario goes. The greatest of financial juggernauts is being collapsed from within and without and when it finally falls it will burn and the world will look on and say tsk, tsk, so sad. And yet ... whatever is does not seems to be what it is.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  2. mmario

    END OR WORLD? Sure, That means that we shuld all stop paying mortgage,credit cards any bills that come hour way we should stop payment immediately. From now on, Live worry free. Lets go to the beach and hang out until that that day May 22. I'am taking a vacation buying a new sport car all on my credit card b/c i don't need to pay it back after May 22. let the party start.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  3. BOB IN MASS

    I hope they're right about this. Then all of you will no longer exist and I will never have to hear you lowly bunch of whiners again.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • johnnyleen

      LOL!

      March 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
  4. Thee Day

    Re: May 21, 2011. I applaud CNN for creating this dialog.

    What is being posted, so far and for the most part, is typical of the arrogance of mankind
    in general. If one wishes to learn about anything, the source information is critical. All
    true information can be verified, understood and tested. Without proper research on this
    topic, one is just blowing smoke which hides the real issue....our accountability
    to Holy God.

    Therefore, if one does not bother to read the source book (Holy Bible) and puts forth
    arguments and mockery which are based in personal opinion, prejudice, anger and
    irritation, then those putting forth those ideas fall into the vast majority of the world's
    population which God's Word describes as without understanding, lost, still sinful etc.,
    and all of them will be judged for that unbelief.

    So, without reading the Word with an open mind to get understanding, which only God
    can give anyone, is a huge indictment of mankind's sinful condition and has serious
    consequences for those with that mindset.

    Just approaching this intellectually and not spiritually is a huge error; for God is Spirit
    and His book is spiritual. But if one does use only human reasoning, think about this.
    If true believers are wrong, what is the risk or harm? If we hold the Truth and are correct,
    all unbelievers are in big trouble, whether they believe or think so or not. Creator God is
    sovereign. Not man the creature.

    Scripture says God chose to predestinate all true believers from before the creation of the
    world. So, when one reads God's Word, one of two things will happen. He will draw His Own
    to Jesus Christ or blind and confuse those who are not His. Therefore, put another way, even
    when one reads the Word they can still be blinded to the truth and come to the wrong
    conclusion, unless God opens their understanding.

    What does one do then? Plead for Mercy! Go before God in humility... not arrogance. Acknowlege
    your sinful condition and see if you are one whom He will yet save. It is only by His Mercy and
    Grace that anyone is of His Elect. He is still saving people around the world today and will do so
    until May 21, 2011. Think of the thief on the cross who was saved at the last moment. When God
    takes home His Elect, all is lost for those left. It is not possible that anyone will escape destruction.

    Last point: The Bible declares that near the end of time, the churches are apostate.
    However, most church members have not followed God's command to leave the local
    church because of its apostacy in the last days, so they use the following as justification.

    The main argument one will hear from many who think they are saved is that we cannot
    know the day of Judgment because the Bible actually says that.

    That it does, but reading the oft quoted verses in Matthew and Mark by Jesus and in
    1 Thess:5:1-3 without reading that entire chapter, or comparing scripture to scripture, is
    misleading to many. The reason is noted below.

    God's Word is deliberately written in parables, metaphors, difficult language and is
    spiritually discerned. It is its own interpreter so one must compare only scripture
    to scripture to gain full understanding of any passage. The whole Bible is God's
    Word and God breathed, given directly by God into the minds of those who wrote
    down the Word over the centuries. It is God's complete truth and not conceived by
    man, but given by God to men whom He chose to record it. Be grateful we have the
    Word preserved and widely available to study. Its self proofs are staggering.

    In closing, what I have tried to convey here is that one dare not discount what God is
    saying through His Word and His Elect without doing your homework and just falling
    for the lies perpetrated by those in the world speaking only in the flesh.

    If God leads you, visit this website, prayerfully spend some time there with all the
    resources to verify these statements and learn God's Truth about May 21, 2011.
    http://historyishisstory.org The Book has been opened. The time of the end has
    been unsealed. May God open your heart and bless you with His Mercy.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • PRISM 1234

      "What does one do then? Plead for Mercy! Go before God in humility... not arrogance..."
      That's true! But there is one more thing that one must do: and it's to stop listening to men who interpret the Word of God by their own mind's conclusions, leaving out the voice of the Holy Spirit, without whom man can not understand God, nor anything of Him.
      That's where all false doctrines come from, because if He doesn't reveal it , there are plenty of other "sources " that will... And I think you should know what I mean...
      God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him, know and understand Him, must, and only can do so, IN and BY His Spirit, who is the Spirit of truth... That's what's wrong with today's Christendom... they take it on their own to interpret God, because it's a lot easier to do it on their own, then to submit to His leadership, since it requires denial of ca-rn-al self. That's where most of American church is today. And it's no wonder majority of false doctrine comes from American church. Yet, most of them think they won't go thru the Great tribulation! How presumptuous and arrogant to even assume that God would spare the church that fits description of Laodicean church Jesus addressed in Rev.elations........
      But as for this teaching of date-setting, it is one of those doctrines, made up by man..
      How is it that the words of Christ which clearly warn not to set dates has slipped by you unaware, people? That in itself shows you're not lead by Him. What you're doing bears heavy weight! And when it does not happen as you claim it will, you will be accountable for the shipwreck of the faith of many who looked to you for answers. and that's a dangerous place to be in, friends!

      March 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  5. Helen Cramer

    The bible says that when Jesus was about to resurrect into heaven the apostles asked Him when he would return. Jesus said only His Father knows. So all this guessing about the world ending is bogus. If you are a bible believer trust in those words. The bible has been the only book that has completely fulfilled all prophecies to this data.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  6. billp

    Please get one of these nuts to commit to doing an interview on May 22nd. I want to know the next date they pick once this one has passed.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." – Albert Einstein

    March 9, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  7. The Maeng

    On March 22nd you will find these people laying on the floor with the kool aid guy smiling.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  8. Brie

    Everytime there is a negative discussion, nitwits blame it on the Republicans. Yep, just blame the end times and all other neg discussions on the gop....how stupid. I don't believe all the rift raft that is taking place with these travelling people, however I do believe the end of times and the Bible and it will come....but I don't think it will be on May 12th. Oh!, just blame these caravan of people on the Repubs....lol harlious negatives who want an excuse to blame......feel sorry for those who will be left behind, will not be a good situation. This is not non-sense....very real indeed. There is a God who will judge, there is a heaven/hell and there is an end time event. Wise up!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  9. MKLMJ

    Everytime there is a negative discussion, nitwits blame it on the Republicans. Yep, just blame the end times and all other neg discussions on the gop....how stupid. I don't believe all the rift raft that is taking place with these travelling people, however I do believe the end of times and the Bible and it will come....but I don't think it will be on May 12th. Oh!, just blame these caravan of people on the Repubs....lol harlious negatives who want an excuse to blame......feel sorry for those who will be left behind, will not be a good situation. This is not non-sense....very real indeed. There is a God who will judge, there is a heaven/hell and there is an end time event. Wise up!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Alverant

      You mean like people who blame everything on Obama, even things that happened before he took office? But face it, there are people now that are actively working towards the end of the world and many of those people are religious conservatives.

      March 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  10. Sid

    the Saints won the SuperBowl last yr, Brett Favre has actually retired & Duke Nukem Forever is supposedly about to ship – I wouldn't write these people off as kooks just yet...

    March 9, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Jwrey

      And he's all out of bubble gum...

      March 9, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  11. Me

    Although I really don't care if the world ends, nor do I believe in any existence better than our own, and would prefer to be dead for eternity than conscious for it, I wish that people would stop hiding behind the cloak saying that NO man knows the day nor the hour. If you are going to use this verse as an assault on Harold's prediction, at least do a little research first. You are simply using this verse to comfort your own uneasy mind about all this talk. But, having done my research, I know that Harold Camping has indeed found the other half to this verse, which states that during the tribulation period and after the end of the church age (which according to his math was in 1994) that the elect are children of the night no more, they are children of the light and will indeed see the end times coming, while those who still believe Christ to come as a thief will perish with the non-believers (like myself).

    March 9, 2011 at 10:00 am |
  12. Joey

    I do not believe the end of the world is coming. Here's the deal nature and our planet go through cycles. No matter what anybody says we are just going through a cycle. Now, I know that republicans are dying to get people in a religious fervor so that they can be in the white house in 2012 and hopefully usher in the second comng. Please go away and just let things play out. Mankind has been predicting the end of times since the beginning of creation. When the end comes....we'll all know it...we'll all be a part of it....stop the nonsense already!

    March 9, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  13. MKLMJ

    Everyone, with any Biblical sense, knows the end of time is near, however these people are exploiting something that has not been written in the Bible and where they get their knowledge is beyond everyone. The Bible is being fulfilled everyday and once it has been completely fulfilled, then the end of time. For born again Christians, it will be a time of gladness and joy, for all others....it will be doomsday as quoted in scripture.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:43 am |
  14. CSC

    These people are raising the future American revolutionaries...once they've figured out that their parents have brainwashed them so severely they will become the generation that finally opens their hearts and minds to a new way of thinking and living. They will revolt against our own government.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • mike kiter

      i agree, we should also look towards self sustainability and stop using cheap labor over seas and down south, that's how we got in this hot mess in the first place.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  15. kevin

    Honestly nobody can predict the exact end of all days. Wasn't the world supposed to end a couple years ago? Why is it that every couple years the worlds is going to end? Nobody can see into the future. If the worls was to end it is because of all the nonbeleavers and the sinners. You can see the world is changing in many ways. The weather, the economy, the conflict in egypt. No hard feeling but i heard a saying one time that said, " When a black guy becomes president, pigs will fly(Swine Flu) and the world will be near the end. The world will end one day, but i think half of us wont even see it. People are dying now a days from desease and overdosing. I give it about 50 years or so. This is my opinion. whats yours??

    March 9, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • JeramieH

      What exactly defines the end of the world? Is that the extinction of mankind as a species? The end of all life on Earth? The physical destruction of the Earth as a planet? The collapse of the universe and existence?

      March 9, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  16. thomas

    When it doesn't happen, they'll say they misinterpreted it and they'll re-interpret it and have a new end of the world judgement day and it will become the new focus for their folly. If their were a GOD, why would he want to end the world? Why would he be so lonely and unhappy as to make a lot of tiny specs of flesh fearful and frightened? He wouldn't. He'd be better and smarter than some uptight patriarch trying to hold his land and family together and protecting himself from power hungry marauders. If the world ends, it might be the sun or some rogue asteroid or even the Earth itself spitting up so much volcanic ash that it chokes out the sun and fills the atmosphere with sulfur dioxide.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:20 am |
  17. James

    how can this topic get any clearer than Matthew 24:36?? please read it if you haven't already!

    March 9, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • Godless

      Because that holds as much value as saying "How can this be any clearer than in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 217 paragraphs 2-3?" In other words, none.

      March 9, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  18. Mike

    "Oh, Wzrd1, ye of little faith ..."
    Well, let's face it: CNN isn't a public service. It's a business. If they think it's good for business, they'll do the story. If they don't, people will forget all about it, while CNN enhances some other story. Thus, they sell our attention to advertisers.

    March 9, 2011 at 8:45 am |
  19. Whoops!

    Popcorn anyone? I made extra today 🙂

    March 9, 2011 at 6:40 am |
    • shack

      I like crushed lavender flowers. sea salt and butter on my popcorn.

      March 9, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  20. Halleluljah

    Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Father let your kingdom come. Then things will be as you have intended from the start. Obedient mankind will live forever on a paradise earth. And your burried name will be sanctified. Got to love that, every person on earth has a name but God's has been lost. I have not forgot and will not. I will praise you father of eternity!!

    March 9, 2011 at 4:56 am |
    • UWH

      Let the invisible nothingness do whatever it wants to do and who are we to argue? It is mysterious and random! Whatever happens is what must happen! Do not be surprised! It is all written down somewhere! The pen is mightier than the gullible!
      There's one born every second and indoctrinated whenever possible. Your doom is certain. Death cannot be avoided.

      March 9, 2011 at 5:08 am |
    • justaperson

      long live the flying spaghetti monster!

      March 9, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • PRISM 1234

      Hallelujah! AMEN!

      March 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • truefax

      Really?? You are referring to the Tetragrammaton as the vowels aren't written. I would inform you that all Semitic languages (including Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, Acadian, etc...) have abjad alphabets maning that there are no vowels in the alphabet and it is up to the reader to know which vowel to put where in reading text. There have been vowel accents that were added latter on but they are written either post/post superscript or subscript to the consonant letters and really are a modern innovation to facilitate learning to read.

      If you actually read a book or newspaper printed in Hebrew or Arabic you will NEVER see the vowel accents unless it’s meant for beginning readers (k-2 equivalent). You will find torah’s and koran’s that also have the vowels included for ease of reading or calligraphic decoration and you will find some without. .

      It’s not as bad as taking out all of a,e,i,o,u,y from the text however as there consonant that are similar to English vowel sound for example A (aye) is a consonant but A (ah, aah) are vowels. There are also different stresses and lots of other crap you have to learn if you don’t want to sound like a baby learning to speak.

      All that said if you could get actually get a rabbi to blaspheme they could pronounce יהוה (YHWH) in context of the passage.

      March 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • EL

      Amen.

      March 9, 2011 at 2:36 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.