Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is popular among prosperity preachers due to the worldly values he represents, says an expert on religious fraud.
Ole Anthony, president of the Dallas, Texas-based televangelist accountability group the Trinity Foundation, told The Christian Post about the appeal Trump has with proponents of the prosperity gospel.
"The love of the world, of power, of recognition and credibility from the world. That appears to fit perfectly with the prosperity gospel," said Anthony.
"The scriptures are clear – if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. The word 'love' is from the verb form agapeo, which simply means 'giving importance to.'"
Anthony's comments come in response to Mike Murdock, the televangelist leader of The Wisdom Center, endorsing Trump's presidential campaign.
Earlier this month, Murdock officially endorsed the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star, stating that Trump has a "warrior's heart."
"We feel as evangelicals that God is being ignored," continued Murdock. "We feel that there's content for God in the Bible, and I believe that Mr. Trump has a heart of restoration, including restoring us economically."
Murdock garnered controversy for his support for the prosperity gospel, once telling prospective donors that if someone watching his program will "use their faith" they can have "a credit card debt wiped out."
Murdock at one point during a ministry fundraiser declared that the "most beautiful thing in the world is a $100-dollar bill, and I've never seen a woman that good looking."
Anthony told CP that "it's not surprising that Murdock is drawn to Donald Trump, because both of them like making outrageous statements."
"Mike Murdock's endorsement of Trump – along with the whole spate of pastoral political endorsements – is an attempt to get credibility and to be 'next to power.' Spiritually, it's the worst kind of heresy," continued Anthony.
"Jesus said in Revelation that there were only two things he hated – the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. As I read the scriptures, the doctrine of Balaam is mixing religion with politics. The doctrine of the Nicolaitans (a compound of the words nikos and laos, or the 'overcoming people') is promoting success in the world in the name of Jesus."
Anthony concluded that if "Murdock is giving importance to the things of this world, then the love of the Father is not in him."
Murdock is not the only prosperity preacher who has expressed support for The Donald. Last October Florida megachurch pastor and prosperity preacher Paula White prayed for Trump, asking that "any tongue that rises against him will be condemned according to the word of God," and for "a greater encounter" with God.
"Father, we just secure him right now by the blood of Jesus. We thank you that no weapon formed against him will be able to prosper and any tongue that rises against him will be condemned according to the word of God," prayed White, a Florida preacher with a daily television show on The Word Network.
White was among many Christian leaders and ministry professionals who prayed for Trump while they laid their hands on him as seen in a video posted on YouTube last September.