Some evangelicals have voiced their disapproval over Donald Trump’s meeting with various faith leaders last week.
The billionaire businessman and presidential hopeful met with big name evangelical leaders in his personally owned skyscraper, Trump Tower, in New York City last Monday.
A number of prominent pastors were in attendance and prayed over Trump, including Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, David Jeremiah, and Paula White, who orchestrated the event.
According to Christian Today, a number of evangelicals are critical of Trump’s attempt to get in touch with the evangelical constituency because they say that the faith leaders invited to the meeting are those who endorse prosperity gospel theology.
"The people that Trump has so far identified as his evangelical outreach are mostly prosperity gospel types, which are considered by mainstream evangelicals to be heretics," Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention said.
Many have accused televangelists like Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of abusing the gospel message and using donations from viewers for their own lavish lifestyle.
"Trump seems to be positioning himself as a secular version of the health-and-wealth televangelists,” Moore continued. “What Donald Trump is doing in terms of promises for the future is very similar to what's going on among these prosperity gospel hawkers.”
However, some believe that Trump is making a smart move in courting the favor of big name faith leaders.
Gary Marx, a former executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition stated, “If he's going to build a bridge into the faith-based community, that's really the best way for him to start. It's not going to be with the high-minded Presbyterians and Episcopalians.”
Trump remains popular with many evangelicals, even if some criticize him.
"Evangelicals have felt used and been burned before. Along comes Donald Trump, and he is a breath of fresh air for them," states David Brody, chief political correspondent for Christian Broadcasting Network.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: October 5, 2015