It’s the end of the world as we know it and the time for sound bytes has passed.
Had I reached out to eBible Fellowship leader Chris McCann yesterday for an interview, I probably would have met with a much better reception. You see, McCann and his followers think the world could end today or tomorrow—and the bounty of interviews he’s been doing over the past few weeks were only to inform us all of of our impending doom.
McCann told me today via email, “Thanks but I’m not interested in doing interviews today. The purpose for doing them was to get the word out about the strong likelihood of this day being the last day and that purpose has been accomplished.”
This isn’t the first time the Philadelphia-based online Christian fellowship and its followers have thought the end was imminent. The world was initially supposed to end back in May 2011. Clearly a wrong prediction; but now, the group has laid out on its website a new explanation for why any moment now, or tomorrow, will in fact be our last.
If the world does end, it will apparently be a scary sight. In an interview to get the word out, McCann told Philadelphia Magazine, “the Earth will be destroyed by fire. The whole of creation will melt. It’s the same God who spoke and created it, and he can snap his fingers and destroy it. That’s the kind of thing he can do. But it’s not going to be a drawn out affair. He’s merciful.”
When I asked if I could join church members and McCann in an Independence Day-type end-of-the-world rooftop gathering, McCann shot me down.
“No. There’s no gathering. Most of the people that believe this do NOT go to church. Each worships God as an individual in their own homes.”
Most of the church’s lectures are done online on its website. Its Facebook page has over 577,000 likes and a Facebook group made by the church in honor of today’s end has over 15,000 members. Most of the posts in the past few days have been McCann sharing links to various press that the group has received.
Today McCann posted, “Dear group, In order to maintain some order today, we are going to change the group’s settings for ‘admin approval’ before a post is shown.”
The eBible Fellowship bases much of its ideology on the prophecies of now-dead Christian radio host Harold Camping. Camping wrongly predicted the May 2011 world’s end. Afterwards, he admitted he was wrong and re-predicted that it was actually October 2011 when the rapture would happen and we would all go to heaven or hell. After October 2011 came and passed, Camping soon went into hiding and died in 2013.
So how are McCann and all of his followers enjoying their last few days on earth? Apparently no different than any other day, he told me.
“Everyone is going about their normal lives. What’s the point of going to a mountain top? Doesn’t matter where one is when God comes because when He comes He is everywhere at once.”