COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Religious broadcaster Harold Camping has revised his end of the world forecast.
Two days after he and his followers failed to disappear to be with Jesus Christ, Camping returned to the airwaves to declare that the world will still end on Oct. 21, as he predicted.
"It's the seventh day, seventh month, seventh millennium, between the coming of Christ and his church in the rapture to take them away to the heavens," said University of South Carolina Professor of Religious Studies Kevin Lewis. "Then His coming again at the end of the tribulation."
Camping, who made a special appearance before the press at the Oakland headquarters of the media empire Monday evening, apologized for not having the dates "worked out as accurately as I could have."
"Technically the Bible says no one knows the day the day and time," said Chadwick Barrs of West Columbia. "So if he (Camping) makes up a day, and it turns up wrong, and they're going to to give him another chance, it doesn't make sense."
But instead of the biblical "rapture," Camping now says May 21 was a "spiritual" Judgment Day, with the entire world now under God's judgment until it's destroyed in five months.Related Stories Midlands pastors react to end of times prediction Saturday's 6pm end of the world deadline passes By the Numbers: How May 21, 2011 Was Calculated to be Judgment Day (TIME)
Camping, who predicted that 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven Saturday before global cataclysm struck the planet, said Monday that he felt so terrible when his doomsday message did not come true that he left home and took refuge in a motel with his wife. His independent ministry, Family Radio International, spent millions " some of it from donations made by followers " on more than 5,000 billboards and 20 recreational vehicles plastered with the Judgment Day message.TelegraphTV
Camping added that since God's judgment and salvation were completed on Saturday, there's no point in continuing to warn people about it. He said his Family Radio network will now just play Christian music and programs for people who are already saved until the end comes on Oct. 21.
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(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)