Several pastors have spoken out against a Kentucky megachurch pastor who during a worship service Sunday cursed those who “stole” the 2020 election from President Donald Trump in the name of Jesus.
"Father, those that have lied, those that have stolen this election, those that have cheated, I place the curse of God upon them," Rev. Bob Rodgers of Evangel World Prayer Center in Louisville, which claims 9,000 members, said in a video clip from the service shared online.
"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."
In another apparent clip from the service, Rodgers, who is also president of Word Broadcasting Network in Louisville and co-hosts a Christian program called “Word Alive” with his wife, Margaret, said he was told personally by an angel that Trump would have won the election.
“I had an angel come to me and tell me that Trump was going to be the next president,” he said in the clip that could not be independently verified by The Christian Post. “And to be honest, he probably had the biggest landslide victory in the history of America. But that doesn’t mean we are wrong. It means it isn’t over yet.”
Calls to Rodgers’ ministry weren’t immediately returned Thursday.
A group of Louisville pastors who heard the sermon, however, are now speaking out about the dangers of Rodgers’ message in the wake of a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. by Trump supporters last Wednesday. The storming of the Capitol delayed for hours the counting of the electoral votes and lead to the deaths of five people. President-elect Joe Biden was later confirmed as the victor of the 2020 election.
"Less than a week after we see the violent mob storm the Capitol, and riot and loot, where one police officer was beat to death, and less than a week after that, you're pushing that kind of rhetoric ..." the Rev. Tim Findley of the Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center said at a press conference Wednesday, according to local news outlet WHAS11. "I think now you're in an irresponsible, dangerous place."
Frank Smith of Christ's Church For Our Community called on Rodgers to apologize and confess that he had gone too far.
"Confess that you have gone too far," Smith said. "Lead your people to truly a sound theology not tainted with Democratic patriotism but rather based on the sacrificial blood from the cross."
Rodgers argued in an interview Tuesday with the ABC affiliate that his aim wasn’t to curse people but to curse the demonic forces working in them.
"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," he was quoted as saying. "I do pray that trouble will come to them if they don't repent and that they will turn from their wicked ways."
Findley insisted that Rodgers’ theology needs to be roundly condemned.
"The mentality of superiority has invaded the pulpit," he 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."
Rev. Damian Thompson of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Louisville told WDRB.com that Rodgers' comments were "pretty disturbing stuff." He accused the pastor of "promoting a narrative that's not true."
"That's false in our country and undermining the overall effects and using Christianity to do that," Thompson said. "It's a problem for me as a leader. It's a problem as a faith leader."