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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. Vlp

    ONLY GOD KNOWS WHEN THE WORLD WILL END! I am i 8th grade and i strongly believe in God and the athiesm rate in our world is going up and it is ashame!

    May 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  2. jesslevel

    I notice there is a ad for American Express in the bottom right hand corner as I write this.
    That's pretty scary in itself, the end of the world and AMX doesn't think so... Yikes !

    March 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm |
  3. tankrothchild

    It's March 21st and we're all still here. FAILBOT!

    March 21, 2011 at 9:26 am |
  4. brad

    I think evolution and Christian theology both have something to say about the end of the world.
    Evolution might say that human life has been one long attempt to survive, always trying to overcome some obstacle: disease, pestilence, natural disaster. Two steps forward, one back.
    The Christian myth (myth being the earliest attempt at science) explains that man was initially at a great height, a little below the angels, then suffered a terrible fall – an end of the world, the result being dimmed intellect and consiousness. And then he had to crawl out of the muck all over again, stand up, and ask "Who am I?"
    Both evolution and the fall attempt to explain mans ascent from a very low place.

    March 17, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Still Here

      The more likely scenario would be a natural disaster volcano eruption, earthquake, or even a meteor or comet hitting the planet. There are quite a few large objects out there in space that have the capacity to do some real damage if not wipe out earth entirely.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:16 am |
  5. Jacob

    So...if the world doesn't end on the day the crazies say it's going to are they all going to kill themselves so they are right?

    March 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  6. Jacob

    Loonies!

    March 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  7. zachudell

    dumb

    March 16, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  8. Niallaptz

    May 21st (for those who aren't crutching it)
    keep us strong
    the day of the world will come
    is it in your eyes
    or those who will lay longer
    as you rest
    pull up a seat and stand next to it
    for the very best
    we have bright eyes
    long lights won't stop fading until we see the end

    the world will die
    as much as you & i
    every single day
    but who knows
    i don't care
    as long as i'm next to you

    comes next to nothing
    the worries that flood
    no warrior if you've strapped yourself in
    i know enough to not let up when the tides cave in
    the back of a heart isn't discolored
    because it circles around and doesn't stop spinning

    flying past the sun
    a crater could take us by the pounds
    times the dozens & let us dwindle over the ground
    but two legs are better than one & we still stand out

    so i don't believe
    i don't conceive in anything
    we made believe
    still proven wrong
    you still trip short
    over nothing
    all over nothing
    keep your books on the shelf
    and let your hair out
    today we wed a beach
    because life's a trip
    and the sand keeps building
    down down down down
    why don't we all just say...
    who cares now?

    March 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  9. Helen Thomas

    No one knows the exact day or hour. Those who say they do are lying. Especially those who claim to be Christian.
    However, the world is being redeemed according to the HOLY BIBLE.

    March 15, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Bullish!t. The book you are believing is poor fiction. Grow up and give up your childish beliefs.

      March 15, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Still Here

      Not really. It's pretty arrogant to push your beliefs onto others. Not a Christian like thing to do. Guess what? You sinned, now you are headed to Hell.

      March 20, 2011 at 4:12 am |
  10. Sarah

    May 21st is my birthday and I do not think the world Is going to end. Everyone also thought the world was going to end On milenium. Did it? No, I didn't so don't worry About it....

    March 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  11. resoistheone

    First and foremost I just want to explain something about fear. Now the whole thing about fear is that it is long and enduring and the greatest fear doesn't come from the actually thing itself but from the time until that event happens. So I don't think this is right spreading fear to people in the world even scaring little kids and having the crying and worried I don't believe that is an act of God at all. Now another when God came to tell people things they didn't get it wrong and God made sure they didn't get it wrong so if this guy predicted earlier that the world was going to end if God actually told him this then it would be correct no such thing as miscalculations. They talk about what the Bible says but you also have to know what the Bible doesn't say and where in the Bible does it ever say calculate anything? Everytime the Bible mentions a long period or a big group it says many or fewer or magnitude. Also people don't realize everything that is happening now were worst in history there were bigger famines more corruption more murders and the only reason why people think things are worst now just because there are more people in the world that is it.Has anybody else realize that all these dates all have the day 21 now what is so significant about that number I don't remember seeing that number in the Bible. Also if they wanted to spread the this news they would have a tv channel talking about it or a commercial but if you only stick to the radio or billboards or the news you won't get that many people. Another thing also people have to remember Jesus was not born here in America, matter of fact America wasn't even thought of the time of Jesus or the Bible was wrote so how are people in America the ones getting the signs and the messages of the end if nothing in the Bible ever happened here? The Bible would say that somebody will know the time and day and you're to believe them but the Bible doesn't say that but the problem I have with these people who are trying to interpret the Bible like it is the Da Vinci Code is that how come what they feel what certain things in the Bible say is right but everybody else is wrong and that is not right. Just because somebody is older doesn't mean they know better but it also means that they have been in this sinful world longer and more sin has corrupted their mind whether or not they know it.

    March 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • scared

      I totally agree. Children all over the place are so scared. My daughter's dance recital is May 21st and oh my goodness I know is flipping out and will not at ALL be able to focus. Thanks a lot, CNN. I could have gone without a date.

      March 17, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  12. Marie-Chantal

    May 21st... Not too bad, since my birthday is May 20th; then at least, I'll have time to celebrate... Yesss!

    🙂

    March 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm |
  13. Marie-Chantal

    Another new date... OK... Well...

    Wasn't it for Dec. 21 2012...?

    Always changing.......

    :)))

    March 14, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Lori Hennessee

      Yeah I totally thought the same thing.

      March 16, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Still Here

      Too funny!

      March 20, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  14. Sal

    Do you really think if God existed he would give absolutely no proof of his existence, and then turn around and punish all those who denied his existence? To be frank, any creator that did not value skepticism, logic, and reason is not a creator I would ever direct praise at. If you need some "holy book" and forced ethical code to live a moral life, you are obviously not a decent human being. I do what's right because I am a good person, not because some book of fairy tales is threatening me with eternal damnation. If God did exist, I can't imagine they would approve of all of these heinous acts committed in their name. I could always be wrong, but what if you Christians/Muslims/Jews are wrong about Odin? Or Zeus? Or Vishnu? Or Ra?

    March 14, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  15. claire

    how did the date of may 21 get prediced

    March 13, 2011 at 7:58 am |
    • Marie-Chantal

      Excellent question, Claire!

      March 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Thee Day

      A Great question, Claire: Bible scholars and committed faithful teachers of God's Word have in only the very last few years been given deeper understanding on this date by God's Word itself, and also being able to coordinate the ancient Hebrew calendar and our modern calendar, are able to arrive at many amazing revelations about the end times: This includes the date of the Flood in Noah's day as occuring in 4990 BC among many such insights which you can learn here: http://historyishisstory.org

      For example: One way May 21, 2011is determined as the date of Christ's return, among many other Bible only proofs, is that the Lord has declared twice in scripture that we are not to be ignorant of this one thing:" that to the Lord a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day" ( Ps 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 ...words written thousands of years apart).

      We also know that when God emphasizes something by saying it twice, He is declaring it is established and will shortly come to pass. Here is the amazing thing: Between the day of the flood, which is precisely given in the Genesis account, in the year 4990 BC and the same precise day coordinated with our calendar falls on May 21, 2011...amazingly are exactly 7000 years apart!

      I think that is startling enough to give one a reason to study and prove this claim to the satisfaction of ones own heart by seeking God and His Word with a humble spirit and a cry for understanding.

      March 16, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • Still Here

      The nitwit has a radio show and convinced a bunch of people to leave their families, jobs, and posessions to join a caravan across country predicting the end of the world. Even their poor families think they are nuts!

      March 20, 2011 at 3:58 am |
  16. Lori Wiliams

    I referred to the wrong date in my last post, I said May when I meant to say March but I think by now everyone knows the date I am referring to: MARCH 21, 2011

    March 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Marie-Chantal

      Another date now: why March 21st???

      March 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
  17. Lori Wiliams

    Judgment day is definitely going to happen...but...the Bible is VERY clear on the fact that no man will know the day or hour! Mark 13:32 states: "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father". Someone tried saying that Jesus is God Almighty and that the Almighty knows all, but there is only one God who exists in 3 persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and if Jesus can seperate himself from the Father and live on earth as a man he can also seperate himself when it comes to knowledge. And it is stated there in Mark 13:32 plain as day that the Son does not know. It is also further explained in other Scripture like Matthew ch. 24(v.36-44), and Luke ch. 12. Luke 12:40 states: "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour WHEN YE THINK NOT". For this event to happen on any day that has been predicted by man would make God a liar and there are only 2 things God can not do; he can not lie and he can not fail. So, for any person to think that we, with our puny, little, finite minds can calculate a date that the Almighty, infinite, God himself has already said we will not know, is really really thinking WAY more highly of himself than he ought to think and Romans 12:3 states: "...to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Besides, how many times have people in the past tried to predict the date of judgment day? It might happen May 20, or May 22...today, tomorrow, this year or 10 years form now but it will not happen on May 21, that will make God a liar and he is not a man that he should lie.

    March 12, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • Dennis Wood

      Lori ,,,I am a child of GOD's,April28 will be my 3rd birthday I don't know a lot of the scripture yet but learning more everyday, your note I must say was well put , dead on and informing. Am I mistaking or did I read it that any man say that he knows when Jesus is coming is a liar?

      March 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
    • Jason Scroger

      Yeah, great post Lori ! To sal, where do you think logic and reasoning come from? The Mind of God, if the bible were not true, knowledeg would be impossible. Do you have a logical reason to beleive your senses, and your memory are correct, especially if you evolved? Rational thought and Logic are not possible without the biblical God. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge, but fools despise knowledge. You are reduced to foolishness apart from God, and the fact that you do know some things, is because you in you heart of heart know the Biblical God

      March 14, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Thee Day

      Quoting scripture taken out of context can be misleading. God has sprinkled clues thoughout His Word on the End Times. A diligent seeker will hunt for these and will be astounded when they see how they hang together to reveal truth formerly
      understood only in part, due to the Daniel 9 verses in which God declared the book sealed... now being unsealed as per Daniel 12:4 and 9.

      For example: what does one do with these verses which no one seems to quote regarding this question of "knowing"...1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 which follow the oft quoted 1 Thess. 5: 1-3. There is much more going on here which many are missing due to a misguided and partial knowledge of the Bible. The whole bible is the Word of God and must be studied as a whole, by comparing every scripture on any topic to every other scripture one can find that relates to that subject to confirm the whole truth on that subject. Most people won't take the time to study for themselves whether something is true or not.

      Sadly this is what is not happening when people hear the news of May 21, 2011 is the rapture and day of judgment immediately following til October 21, 2011. Most will not do the obvious thing when one is confronted with such a strong,
      unfamiliar concept as an exact date applied to such information.

      Go to the Word and find every reference on the topic of Christ's return and compare the original language, if you can, with helps available and the full context of the verses as they all relate to the topic at hand. Let the scripture verify itself.

      If one will do this it will become clear, unless one is not given the understanding that God alone gives to a true believer. In that case, if "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" and one does not "hear" what God is saying about
      his return and its timeline...then one should beg God for mercy because they are not one of His but only think they are because of the delusion God is bringing them because He knows His own... they are not one of His "sheep" and cannot hear
      the Shepherd's voice. This is a scary prospect for many. We should not be so quick to think we know without doing our due diligence in the Word. This is what is going on across the world right now as people are picking up on this amazing new understanding God Himself is revealing the the last days as He has declared.

      Here is a resource to gain more knowledge: http://historyishisstory.org
      The resources found there are easy to navigate for all the answers one can seek. God will speak to His own.

      March 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • Still Here

      Lori Williams, it's not very Christian of you to be passing judgement on others and hiding behind bible passages. Can't you think for youself? You sound like a brainwashed parrot. Stop posturing yourself. You are no better than anyone else. There is no one superior religion. Go back and consult the bible, you are commiting the sin of Arrogance!

      March 20, 2011 at 3:46 am |
    • Still Here

      Here we go. Another nutjob who thinks that quoting the bible somehow makes them above everyone else. Honey, you are not the only person living on this planet. There are other religions on this earth. The bible is a book of stories, nothing else.
      If you could think outside the box and take the time to learn about other religions, you will discover that Jesus is a composite character derived from Egyptian and Sumarian mythology. Now jump on a computer and do some research and use your brain.

      March 20, 2011 at 3:54 am |
    • DonDonP1

      I agree. However, it's Harold Camping who's a liar. He and his Family Radio cult have crossed the line, for what they said about May 21st being the day of rapture and judgement and October 21st being the end of life on Earth is heresy. It's a sham and a mockery. All we have to do is stay in the true words of the true Father, the true Son and the true Holy Spirit. Though, we should prepare ourselves everytime for the unexpected, May 21st and October 21st of this year will come and go without incident.

      March 27, 2011 at 4:44 am |
    • steve

      Lori is not being a "nutjob" or "crazy". This end time date was predicted from people pulling dates and times from the Bible. She was simply stating that the Bible clearly says we will NOT know the date, and is NOT giving clues. There is no need to be ignorant and childish.

      April 7, 2011 at 2:17 am |
  18. btwice

    well, they're building ships in china. 1 billion euros per seat.

    March 12, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Lori Hennessee

      Oh you watched that movie too....

      March 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  19. Pastafarian_don

    How much will the RV's be selling for on eBay after May 22nd? I could bid up to $100.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  20. Well Read

    Prove that God is real-are you kidding? That's called faith. Don't miss a great new book on it's way up–www.jamesbouvier.com ESCAPING ARMAGEDDON

    March 11, 2011 at 12:59 am |
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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.