Some Christian evangelicals not happy with Donald Trump's meeting with faith leaders

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds his Bible while speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 19, 2015.Reuters

Last week, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump invited faith leaders to the 26th floor of his skyscraper in New York, the Trump Tower, to meet and pray with them.

Among those who prayed with Trump included televangelist Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas; and Jews for Jesus evangelist Kirt Schneider.

Not everyone, however, was happy with the controversial businessman's choice of faith leaders to be close with. Outspoken Christian evangelical and Trump's critic Russell Moore, for instance, belittled the faith leaders currently surrounding the leading Republican presidential candidate.

"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," Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in an article on Politico.

Moore was particularly displeased at how Trump is aligning himself with televangelists.

"Trump seems to be positioning himself as a secular version of the health-and-wealth televangelists. 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," he said.

Gary Marx, a former executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, meanwhile, said Trump invited the faith leaders to attract more votes from faith-based communities.

"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," Marx said.

He also noted that the faith leaders Trump invited were all "very comfortable with big personalities and TV personalities."

Christian Broadcasting Network's chief political correspondent, David Brody, meanwhile, observed that Trump seemed to be winning the "sick-and-tired-of-it" bloc of evangelicals.

"Evangelicals have felt used and been burned before. Along comes Donald Trump, and he is a breath of fresh air for them," Brody explained.