You may have heard of a group called eBible Fellowship predicting the end of the world, which was supposed to have occurred on Wednesday. If you’ve looked out the window today, you’re probably aware that Armageddon did not occur, and that the world is still here.
However, one of the leaders of the group behind predicting the world’s end has responded to criticism today by releasing a statement in which he admits that the prediction was wrong, but declares that the theory behind it was right: that the world is a wicked place, more so than it ever has been before, and that the end is still imminent, even if this particular date was incorrect.
In a long public statement on Facebook, eBible Fellowship’s Chris McCann (whose followers say he should not be considered the pastor of an online church, and that their group is not a church) explained as follows.
“Since it is now October 8th it is now obvious that we were incorrect regarding the world’s ending on the 7th.”
He goes on.
“It should be noted that the world ‘not’ being destroyed on the 7th is in no way some sort of divine justification of the world. According to the Word of God the sentence upon the world has been passed (it is guilty) and the world will certainly pass away as detailed in numerous places in the Bible. E Bible Fellowship was incorrect regarding the specific day of its end, but we were not incorrect concerning the fact that it will one day soon come to an end.”
In the paragraphs that follow, McCann explains that he is still certain that judgment upon the world will come soon, and affirms that he does not consider eBible Fellowship’s prediction to be a lie because they never said October 7 was a sure thing, only “a strong likelihood.”
The group’s website continues to declare October 7 as the day the world will end. Notably, an audio link promised on October 6 has not yet been added, suggesting that it would never have become available if eBible Fellowship’s end of the world prediction had been accurate.
Notably, the group’s reasoning for their prediction is based on another end times prediction that failed four years ago. Harold Camping, of Family Radio, predicted that the rapture would occur on May 21, 2011. That day, of course, passed without the world coming to an end. Camping explained that he was only slightly wrong: that his chosen date had been judgment day, but that the end of the world would follow soon.
It seems eBible Fellowship concurred: here’s their explanation for their chosen date.
“The Bible reveals that May 21, 2011 was the beginning of the Day of Judgment. There is a strong likelihood that the prolonged period of judgment will continue for 1600 days concluding on October 7th, 2015.”
End times predictions have been particularly frequent in the past few years, with the recent tetrad of lunar eclipses often tied in. A number of religious groups have also considered the Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’), the internet, and the United Nations to be signs of the apocalypse.
The eBible Fellowship group is far from alone in suggesting that there is more evil in the world than ever and declaring that judgement must come soon — pastors and televangelists have said the same for decades, citing everything from election results to Supreme Court decisions to the development of the internet as evidence. However, groups actually predicting a date for the end of the world is at least a bit rarer — though it’s frequent enough that memes have circulated mocking such groups.
Many Christian groups denounce such predictions, saying that, on the subject of the end of the world, the Bible’s official declaration is that no man can know when it will occur.
But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
(King James version, via BibleHub.)
When Harold Camping’s prediction proved wrong, he was ready with a new belief: that his chosen date had only been judgment day, and that the end of the world would soon follow. Whether eBible Fellowship will also publish a new prediction remains to be seen.