October 21st, 2011
06:00 AM ET
The End, again? If it is, we thank you for your time
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) - In case you are reading this, might we suggest you read really fast?
The world may end any minute now, if the latest doomsday prediction is on target.
We realize October 21 didn’t get the shout-out that May 21 did, so our apologies if this comes as a surprise. But if you had heard the complete message the first time, you would have known.
“The warning is out,” Dennis Morrell, 44, of Jacksonville, Florida, reminded us a couple of days ago. “There’s nothing else you can do.”
Earlier this year, and with the backing of the Christian broadcasting network Family Radio, billboards touting May 21 as Judgment Day dotted the landscape. RVs plastered with the fateful date crisscrossed the country as believers wearing T-shirt announcements and waving fliers sounded the alarm.
That was to be the day when a select 2% to 3% of the world’s population, predetermined by God, would be raptured up to heaven. Everyone else, the story went, would endure months-long judgment amid chaos, destruction and unspeakable suffering. A massive earthquake would ravage the land, bodies would be tossed about and terror would reign for the duration.
Five months or exactly 153 days later, it was said, the world would disappear – which brings us to today.
This was the schedule laid out by God’s word in the Bible, the faithful said. It was the plan deciphered and shared by Harold Camping, now 90, the founder of Family Radio, based in Oakland, California.
Camping, who has an engineering degree, had spent more than 50 years combing through his Bible and crunching numbers embedded in scripture. Sure, he’d made a similar end-of-the-world prediction for September 6, 1994, but who hasn’t been tripped up by biblical verses? With additional studying, calculations and new signs that would be revealed later, he said earlier this year that he had no doubts this time around.
“I know it’s absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true,” he told CNN before May 21. “If I were not faithful that would mean that I’m a hypocrite.”
Problem is, May 21 came and went, and the world remained the same. Soon the billboards disappeared. The T-shirts and hats worn by believers got tossed. The RVs were quietly parked, tucked away in storage yards, possibly sold.
Camping came forth, two days later, with an explanation - and his last news conference. October 21 would still be the end, he said, but a “loving and merciful” God had opted to spare humanity the five months of turmoil.
A couple of weeks later, Camping had a stroke. He is said to be recuperating at home after a hospital and rehab stay and has only made a handful of radio addresses in the months since. Family Radio declined our requests to interview him.
Fred Store, a 66-year-old retired electrician and longtime Family Radio listener, dedicated seven months of his life to sharing the “awesome news” that was the May 21 message. He led a caravan of believers, five RVs strong, on a tour of the United States for Family Radio. He was in Boston in May when he expected to be raptured up to heaven.
When nothing happened, “We were caught by surprise. ... But we realize now that it’s very possible that we misunderstood some of the things we thought were true,” Store said this week from his home in Sacramento, California, where he has put up a number of caravan friends.
“I believe that October 21 is the end, and I trust in God. Whatever way he chooses to end things will be perfect.”
On the Family Radio website, the May 21 events, or nonevents, have been clarified.
“What really happened is that God accomplished exactly what he wanted to happen. That was to warn the whole world that on May 21 God’s salvation program would be finished. ... For the next five months, except for the elect (the true believers), the whole world is under God’s final judgment,” the statement reads.
As for that massive, body-flinging earthquake anticipated by believers, well, it turned out to be less literal.
“We always look at the word ‘earthquake’ to mean the earth, or ground, is quaking or shaking violently. However, in the Bible the word ‘earth’ can include people as well as ground. ... Therefore we have learned from our experience of last May 21 what actually happened. All of mankind was shaken with fear. Indeed the Earth (or mankind) did quake in a way it had never before been shaken.”
No one was raptured on May 21, but that’s just because “universal judgment” will come on the last day. “The elect” or “true believers” are still guaranteed their day of rapture, and everyone else will be “annihilated together with the whole physical world.”
For Paul Anatiychuk, 36, of Charlotte, North Carolina, the way this played out has been a relief, a blessing. A husband and father of two children, ages 8 and 9, he wasn’t sure if his own family members would be saved. The thought of leaving them behind on May 21, to suffer what would come over the next five months, troubled him.
“God tortures them while we’re hanging in the clouds?” he said this week. “It didn’t completely fit.”
Now, Anatiychuk said, he can take solace knowing that when he’s saved, sinners will simply die.
“Of course (the world) has to be destroyed and burned up by fire,” he said. “But it’s going to be very quiet.”
Finding a way to save faith, and face, is part of the process when a prophecy fails, said Lorenzo DiTommaso, an associate professor of religion at Concordia University in Montreal, who has been studying apocalyptic worldviews for a dozen years.
He said those who become disillusioned aren’t quick to talk, and the rest find a new way to spin what has transpired.
When nothing happened on May 21, Camping was left with a choice, said DiTommaso, whose book, “The Architecture of Apocalypticism,” is scheduled for publication next spring.
Camping could have admitted he was wrong. He could have said the calculations were off and needed further analysis. Or he could have spiritualized the apocalypse, which is exactly what he did, DiTommaso said.
That tack, that way of looking at the apocalypse, has a long history, he said, and dates back to early Christian theologians. Tyconius, in the late fourth century, took this approach, as - more notably - did Augustine in the early fifth century.
Augustine “preferred to understand the millennium predicted in the Revelation of John in spiritual and metaphoric rather than literal terms,” DiTommaso said. He “sought to diminish the emphasis on hard calculations.”
The obvious advantage of this sort of interpretation for a man like Camping, who has prided himself on his numbers, is that he can “divorce himself a little bit from the fact that he was so darn wrong.”
What Camping will say - if anything - come Saturday, assuming there is a Saturday, is anyone’s guess.
But DiTommaso said a new explanation, perhaps a new doomsday date, may be on the horizon. It would be just another in a long line of end-time predictions across the ages.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another attempt” by Camping, he said. “If he were an artist, this is his masterpiece, his life work.”
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.
How long until the republicans start accusing Obama of 'surrendering', and the go about handing out signs to bubba the plumber at the Tea Party rallies "These Colors Don't Run"? I can hear Hank Jr now.
Um.....what? What does this have to do with the article?
CNN: Seriously, stop reporting this sort of stuff YOU are only encouraging them. Without coverage by the press they would stop. The reason these people have any voice is because YOU give it to them. If not your fault but you're complicit. In the same way you gave Christine Mconnel a voice. Stop giving these whack-jobs a voice, you're giving them a platform to become more dangerous and influential.
Perhaps... but it also gives sane folks the opportunity to unmask, mock, ridicule and razz the whack-jobs and their followers off the face of the Earth.
OH...those Christians ,this people don't have nothing to do? are they not embarrased that this is not the first time they predict the end of the world and WE STILL HERE ALIVE? this is hell anyway we are living the Sodomah and Gomorrah already this world is hell anyway! Please stop this nuisance when the world is finish you Christians don't even know it was COMING !
Man, there is certainly no shortage of people in this world who are totally FUBAR.
This guy should run for the GOP Presidential nomination too..
(When nothing happened, “We were caught by surprise. ... But we realize now that it’s very possible that we misunderstood some of the things we thought were true,” )
the correct realization was that your all a bunch of idiotic morons so devoid of any actual intelligence you will believe whatever anyone says.
"But we realize now that it’s very possible that we misunderstood some of the things we thought were true,”
Like believing in the bible? : )
I hope not I have Nov 21 in the pool in Las Vegas
I live in Vegas. Love it here.
LOL..... I was in Vegas May 21st 2011.... ?
The thing is, if you live every day like its your last day on earth, one day you will be right.
The only thing it's the end of is your MONEY if you send this idiot another dime.
GOD is CREATION or the Celestial Cosmos, and HIS Sons and Daughters live upon the Sub-Micro-Cosmos. These Sons and Daughters are Gods and Goddesses and they are the ones who build Celestial based LIfe from the single celled organisms to ourselves, the most complex organisms. These Gods and Goddesses live upon the insides of their built life forms of the celestial designs. They, (The Sons and Daughters of GOD) cannot guarantee that their building of celestial based life forms/formations be always a perfection.
😐 🙁 🙂
a god, built by God and forever living inside the body of GOD
Who knew? Cool
Cool story bro!!
It looks like your posting is a perfect example of a large bunch of monkeys banging on an equally large collection of keyboards.
...And to think that the Media gives even any attention to those misled people... They re so far in a ditch, that it's not wort paying attention to anything they say... But the crowed of mockers surely loves to gather themselves to gloat over their stumblings.. Oh, what a wretched shape this land is in! ..... it's like a drunk, staggering and not knowing what direction he came from and where he's going! But that's what happens when decay and corruption sets in. Very few escape, not absorbing the stench of. it. And American Christianity surely has it's share of it! Here is only one example of it
The Dark PRISM strikes again, casting his/her warm glow upon humankind.
I am a little upset Mr. camping is not putting his money where his mouth is. He has – reportedly – collected millions of Dollars from his naive brain-washed followers. Why doesn't he come-out with a collective bet against those who do not believe... something that goes like this: I BET you the end of the world is (insert date here) and if I am wrong, I will give you one Million Dollars each, and if I am right, you'll be dead anyway so I'll take all your eartly possessions with me to Heaven.
OK... sign me up.
The Catholic Bible states that Jesus Himself denied knowing the day or the hour. In the King James version, perhaps Jesus tells us to run the calculations for ourselves?
This will not matter to the atheist/materialists. They should be more worried about earth's destruction at the hands of scientists: nuclear annihilation thanks to splitting the atom . Or the stupification of the masses a la technogy. Some scientists are even worried about the long-term negative effects of artificially "created" life.
And what of jesus claiming he'd return before the passing of his generation? Hmmmmmmmmm? That's in all of the bibles.
Here is how it will happen... in about a million years, our sun will start to disintegrate, its core will start to overheat and expand, killing all life on – and then swallowing – our planet.
Until this happens, rapture believers, charlatans, doomsday predictors and snake charmers will just keep on coming and going...
Nope, in the KJV it says no man knows the day or the hour, not even Jesus himself, but only the Father knows the time. I don't believe Mr Camping and all those who claim to know when the world will end are reading the same Bible, or talking to the same Holy Ghost I do.
Is this brad from San Jose?
Mike, the sun isn't going to expand for another 4 to 5 Billion years. Not a million.
Steve, the bible says that no one knows the hour. This was written in by authors AFTER they realized jesus didn't keep his promise of returning within his own generation. This was done to cover up, to make an excuse. While jesus was alive, he KNEW when he was going to return according to his own words. Then later on he strangely has no clue? See? Another religion-killing contradiction for christianity. I don't understand why people actually believe in this book.
Shazzles: "I don't understand why people actually believe in this book."
It is because of their totally desperate and pathetic attempt to not die... to live happily ever after, Amen.
see right there , you said version. the bible has too many versions to know which one is correct not to mention its a 2000 year old book who knows how closely it follows the bible from that day and age
it's more like a few BILLION years
I like reading all the comments from the fundamentalist Christians claiming that Camping is a nut-case. The ironic thing is that these same fundamentalists believe that the universe magically poofed into existence 6000 years ago. And that there were talking snakes and donkeys, and a guy who lived in the belly of a fish.
It wasn't really 6,000 years ago. The creation happened over the span of 6,000 years. Then their god rested for 1,000 years. Then a whole bunch of things happened over however many years. The bible has a small section telling us all about who lived for how many years and who crapped out who. Then you hot the time of jesus, and that tacks on 2,000 years from that point. From the creation and rest, we get 7,000 years, from the time of jesus till now another two, so that's 9,000 years. The time between might be something around a thousand or two. This leads me to believe that according to the bible, the Universe is approximately 11,000 to 12,000 years old. No, I don't actually believe it, I'm just saying that if one does the math, they might come up with a similar number.
Well, don't you believe that the universe magically poofed into existence, too? I mean really, your version is a bit more hocus pocus than the creation version. At least creation can claim a logical cause. You've just got the magical *poof*. Creation is a bit more reasonable than the lack thereof.
"Creation is a bit more reasonable than the lack thereof."
No it isn't. Because it just substi.tutes in a deity for the unknown. Who created that deity? It just passes the buck.
At least, with virtual particles, we have evidence of something coming from nothing. We have no evidence of any creator.
I'm sorry Dilbert, but we have really good science that takes back to a few femtoseconds after the initial expansion of the singularity. "goddidit" or "poof, then another miracle occurs" is not science.
Seriously? Really? I have made my peace and when the time comes it will happen, and it will never be when someone claims it does. Considering the international date line does exist, saying its going to end on Oct 21 or any date for that matter would be false because once Oct 21 got here in Australia, we were still October 20th so already Camping was wrong, as he was in May. GRRRR! This is why I will not buy into this nonsense. No one will know for sure unless something environmentally cataclysmic happens such as an asteroid,comet, or solar flares or even a nuclear bomb, all in which we could have some kind of warning it will happen for sure within a specific time window. Saying it will happen on a certain date but no details on how already demonstrates a degree of doubt and so far all the religious zealots who claim these dates are full of crap and wrong 100% of the time so far.
Good luck Mr Camping on your descent to heaven as you will probably see it sooner than most of the global population.
People can judge all the want, judge me I don't care because I only accept judgment from my creator when my time comes.
Until then, religious zealots can just get over themselves, they are no different or more powerful than the rest of us. We all bleed the same color. Jeez.
Didn't Jesus warn against false prophets? Camping is a 24-carat phony. A hustler soliciting donations, fattening his bank account, all in the name of Jesus. Oldest trick in the book. So sad many gullible people believe this guy.
So sad that so many people believed in the lies of jesus as well.
From Wikipedia: “Since the beginning of recorded history, which is defined by the invention of writing by the Sumerians around 6000 years ago, historians have cataloged over 3700 supernatural beings, of which 2870 can be considered deities. “
I take it that Christian fundamentalists maintain a fervent disbelief in 2869 of these while I find myself disbelieving in a remarkably similar number – 2870 deities. As such, I do not see how these fundamentalists would have any difficulty understanding and appreciating my views pertaining to the nonexistence of supernatural deities.
I'm sorry, this guy is a whack job. A rich whack job with major radio stations in New York, San Francisco, etc and a ton of money in the bank which allows him to continue with his nonsense for the gullible.
The day's not over yet.....
It will be. And then tomorrow, it will be Saturday.
You are an idiot and gullible... If you are so sure the world is ending, can I make out with you sister tomorrow?
Which of us said the world is going to end? Now think back. Who's the idiot now?
The end is impossible. The end is a myth.
Sorry to pop your beautiful life in the bubble of liberal Oregon but the end is near. Even science and Bible agree on this one. The sun will fade and earth will not be as it was. Then there is the probability of Nuclear war, asteroids strike etc. Even here science agrees that the Biblical account of the moon turning red in the last day is probable.
@ Fred – Sorry, but no. Science certainly says no such thing. Our sun won't expand to red giant for several BILLION years. And your bible said the world would end 2000 years ago
fred, all the science I've read says that the end of the sun is still at least a few billion years away. Can you point us to something scientific that says it's closer than say 1 million years? Any asteroid hits on the horizon? Re: nuclear, most nuclear threats would be reduced if "believer nations" (USA, Iran, Pakistan, France, etc.) (and North Korea and China) stopped their nuclear weapons programs. It would be interesting if the believers spend their time on nuclear disarmament rather than abortion (which, at least in the USA, is a believer dominated activity too).
It's true. The bible quotes jesus saying it would end in his generation : )
oh shazzles....you forgot the letter "t"....it says "this generation"....this generation ( if you would have read the whole chapter) that sees wars and rumors of wars, more intense earthquakes, famines, pestilences etc. we are this generation he was taking about. does the letter "t" offend you? because it looks like a cross?
Jesus went to great lenghts to tell Paul and the Apostles that the end was not now. Man being stubborn continued to run with his own thoughts (as did Camping).
"The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood"acts 2:20. Scientifically: When the sun burns down or our skys fill with dust/smoke the sun will darken (or at night) and the moon will be red due to change in visible light wave lengths.
Ja, and this is exactly why so many people are duped into believing in the stupidity of christianity : ) When I say HIS generation, I'm referring to the fact he was speaking to followers of HIS generation, not ours. There is not just one quote from jesus saying when he'd return. Open a bible and count the quotes. He makes different statements, all of which gives us the easy to come to conclusion that he was supposed to return within HIS own generation. He was speaking to his followers THEN, not now. It's no wonder christianity continues on and on... every generation is stupid enough to believe that jesus was speaking directly to them. Ha!
Here's some scripture for you to cram:
"And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power." –Mark 9:1 (KJV) See that? He said UNTO THEM. He was speaking to people standing in front of him. Not you, not me, not anyone in the future. He was speaking to people who were alive, and listening to him chat right then and there.
"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." –Matthew 16:28 (KJV) There be some STANDING HERE! Again, speaking to people standing right in front of him. Not people in Nikes at the bus stop in NYC.
"When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." –Matthew 10:23 (NIV) What's this? Israel isn't that big. It wouldn't take 2,000 years to walk from city to city, not at that time by any means.
Later on, bible authors realized that jesus is a screwup and a liar, so what did they do? Started making excuses!
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.... But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." –2 Peter 3:3-8 (KJV)
And here's a contradiction:
Matthew 24:36 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
The bible quotes jesus as telling people when he's going to return, but the bible says he wouldn't know when he's return. Please tell me you don't actually believe in all of this. Please give me some hope in mankind that you don't seriously think that jesus is going to skip across the sky on his white unicorn farting rainbows.
If Israel and Iran / Pakastain lay their nuclear weapons down I think even you would agree we have proof that Jesus lives.
Mark 9:1 and MT 16:28 most likely refer to Christ at Pentacost when they did see the Kingdom of God come in power and they did see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom. That was what fired them all up to spread the truth and gave the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as promised.
Matthew 10:23 is letting the Apostles know what to expect as they spread the truth which will spread beyond Israel throughout the world until the time Christ returns.
2 Peter you pulled out of context as it was giving us an overview of Gods eternal perspective.
Matthew 24:36 was repeated in several places because just like Camping people think they know the time and the hour. Well no one knows and when Jesus says even He does not know he makes it clear man could not.
Last but not least I cant wait to see a unicorn fart rainbows, will you pull his hoof for me?
ThinkForYourself wrote on Friday, October 21, 2011 at 11:57 am, stating, "This same intelligent designer who also gave us such wonders as cancer, ebola, and an organ that provides almost no value, is unnecessary, and can kill. Your designer is either not intelligent or sadistic. Or doesn't exist."
Intelligent design does not come without a few clay pots being mal-formed. Where is perfection being represented in the humanities? How does mankind establish a perfect righteousness beyond reproach? GOD, the wholeness that is ALL CREATION gives to HIS Sons and HIS Daughters all the tools and means needed to create all celestial Life. In understanding this and that such Sons and Daughters build celestial Life from the inside out and they live upon the inside of that which they created is a mystery that few can fathom or even willingly understand.
1Cr 3:9 “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.”
1Cr 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?"
Luk 17:21 "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is inside/within you."
🙁 😐 🙂
god, built by God and living forever inside the body of GOD
Malformed? So, this god creates a Universe, laws of physics and a delicate balance just right for life, etc. but it can't get a book right? Mmmmmmmmm. Praises be to him, the author with shaky hands.
One needs to READ the words and thoughtfully review them and to not just glimpse over then respond in fervor. GOD, THE COSMOS and God the builder of CELESTIAL LIFE and god as in the humanities.
Yeah. I've read the words. And you're still not giving a straight answer.
Sorry Shazzles, I didn't understand the question. What was it again? 😐
god, built by God and forever living inside the body of GOD
Why did G-D make us such that we have to SH-T?
Simple. Because G-D is an ASSH-LE.
@G-D: “One needs to READ the words and thoughtfully review them” I have. Here’s an interesting one where god says he is the creator of evil
"I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." (Isaiah 45:7)
Yeah, and why did such an infinitely high IQ "designer" make the area of gross defecation so dangerously close to an area of recreation (double entendre on 'recreation', hec, hec.).
It would be nice if people like Camping treated their "faith" as if it was their manhood - be happy with it, proud if you wish, but PLEASE don't keep pulling it out in public.
"Intelligent design does not come without a few clay pots being mal-formed."
Well, at least you admit that you're god isn't omnipotent or omniscience. I can respect someone a bit more who says that their god is clearly flawed.