LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Backlash and questions were raised at a news conference with Louisville faith leaders Wednesday after Pastor Bob Rodgers of Evangel World Prayer Center declared a curse upon those who he claims 'stole the election' from President Donald Trump.
"Father those that have lied, those that have stolen this election, those that have cheated, I place the curse of God upon them," Rodgers said at the church service. The video of it has since made rounds on the internet. "I curse you with weakness in your body. I curse you with poverty. I cursed you with the worst year you've ever had in the name of the Lord."
Pastor Timothy Findley Jr. of Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center led the news conference alongside other local faith leaders. They called on Rodgers to "repent himself" and called on members of his congregation to stop attending his services.
"Confess that you have gone too far," Dr. Frank Smith said of Christ's Church For Our Community. "Lead your people to truly a sound theology not tainted with Democratic patriotism but rather based on the sacrificial blood from the cross."
WHAS11 talked to Rodgers on Tuesday to ask if he still stands by his words.
"This is a prayer not to curse people but to curse the demonic forces that people have allowed to rule them that would harm a nation," Rodgers said. "I do pray that trouble will come to them if they don't repent and that they will turn from their wicked ways."
Pastor Findley called Rodgers' words "wicked" and said the timing of his message increases danger.
"The mentality of superiority has invaded the pulpit," Findley said. "I'm calling on all people to stand up and condemn this kind of language; why is this so important right now? Because there are alerts going out to law enforcement as we speak alerting people to be on guard because on the day of the inauguration there are planned – not protests – but violent actions."
Professor of Old Testament at Louisville Bible College, Andrew Paris has been teaching pastors in several states for more than 40 years.
"God is a god of love and grace, as well as wrath," Paris said. "The Bible condemns us telling God what to do in the cursing business."
After watching the video of Pastor Rodgers' message Paris shared his thoughts with WHAS11 News.
"We are not to use prayer as a cursing Aladdin's Lamp to go and destroy people by God's wrath," Paris said.
When asked about his thoughts on bringing politics into the church Paris said, "A pastor is paid and called to preach the gospel, a religious vocation – we are not to get involved in politics."
The local faith leaders who condemned Rodgers' message are offering him an opportunity to meet with them so they can have a conversation.