Famous Christians


By Dr. Ken Matto


Numbers 16:1-2 (KJV)   Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:  {2} And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:


There is a strange phenomenon which permeates Christianity and that is the exaltation of famous Christians.  What I mean by famous Christians are those who are on radio or TV and have become well known throughout all of Christianity.  Many have adapted the belief that just because someone has a media ministry that they are closer to the Lord and that they possess wisdom much beyond those who are not famous Christians.  They publish books (mostly with ghost writers) and they will sell 100,000+ copies in no time whether their theology is correct or not.  Another person self-publishes a book with vital information and loaded with truth and they barely sell 20 copies all because they are not famous, not because their material is in error, but they are not famous.


A while back I had a discussion on Facebook with a pastor from a Free Presbyterian Church and I was trying to impress upon him that the same Holy Spirit who indwelled Charles Haddon Spurgeon indwells us.  In a normal kindergarten response which most pastors use, he asked me this question which was totally outside of what was being spoken.  He asked me “are you putting yourself in the same category as Spurgeon?”  When I mentioned the fact that the same Holy Spirit indwells Spurgeon as He does any true Christian, did it sound like I was making an assertion that I was in the same category as Spurgeon?  The answer is no but he also had one of his stooges on the feed and her response was just as juvenile.  She posted “I’ll stick with Spurgeon and not Matto.”  So basically because of Spurgeon’s fame, Christians believe that he is untouchable and in some type of higher category than the rest of us.  The reality is that we each have a different calling and Spurgeon had a different one than I presently do and that is what I also wanted to impress on that pastor.  Famous or not, we all have a specific calling on our life.


So the question then arises, “are Christians categorized because of their fame?”  So do we conclude that those who are famous are the chosen within the chosen and those who are not famous need to depend on the famous Christians for our biblical understanding?  Does this mean there is a partition between famous Christians and non-famous Christians?  Those who are famous, are they cherished more by God than those who are not famous?  In my study of the Scriptures over the past 38 years, I have found no such thing as a tier system in Christianity.  It is like the social stratification found in the caste system in India.  The belief in Christianity is that all are equal at the cross, that is, until a Christian becomes famous, then they are more equal than the rest of us.


The sad reality is that the more famous a Christians gets, the easier they fall into apostasy and start spewing false teaching plus when they become famous, the big money starts rolling in so they will have nothing interfere with their wealth building.  I want to show in this article some Christians who became famous and have done nothing but throw confusion into biblical interpretation, gained wealth, and have held hands with false gospels.


Billy Graham

Handed over respondents at his crusades to the Roman Catholic Church – He preached from the King James Version but endorsed the modern versions.


Quotes by Billy Graham:

“I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant....We cannot fully understand the mysteries of God, but I believe a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christian, through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that’s all right with me” (“A Lutheran Looks at Billy Graham,” Oct. 10, 1961, p. 12). 


“I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost–were going to hell–if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God–through nature, for instance–and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying ‘yes’ to God” (“I Can’t Play God Any More,” McCall’s, Jan. 1978, p. 156). 


Graham upon receiving an honorary doctorate from Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey: “The gospel has built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation” (“Belmont Abbey Confers Honorary Degree,” The Gastonia Gazette, Wed., Nov. 22, 1967). 


“There’s no group of people in the world I’d rather be with right now than you” [the National Council of Churches staff members]. I think of you, I pray for you [and] follow with great interest the things you do” (“The Graham Touch: Salvation and Unity,” The American Baptist, Jan./Feb. 1992, p. 11).


In an interview with Robert Schuller, Graham speaks: “I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they’re conscious of it or not, they’re members of the Body of Christ.... He’s [God] calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they’ve been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.” Schuller: “What, what I hear you saying that it’s possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’ve been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you’re saying?” Graham: “Yes, it is, because I believe that. I’ve met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard of Jesus, but they’ve believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they’ve tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived..” Schuller: “I’m so thrilled to hear you say this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.” Graham: “There is. There is” (“Graham Believes Men Can Be Saved Apart from Name of Christ,” Christian News, Oct. 20, 1997, p. 15).


Harold Camping

He was President and one of the founders of Family Stations Inc. located in Oakland, California.  He had predicted the return of Christ to be May 21, 2011 along with several dates before that date but with the 2011 date he hatched some major heresies.  He was host of the nationwide program Open Forum.  Here are some of the heresies he hatched leading up to the failed date of May 21, 2011.


1) Annihilation of the Unsaved

2) The Rejection of the Total Depravity of Man in denial of Romans 3:12

3) No Visible Return of Christ

4) No resurrection of the Unsaved

5) No Final Judgment of the Unsaved

6) The eternal wrath of God on the unsaved will last 5 months

7) Allah is the God of the Bible
8) Christ became the Son of God after He rose from the dead before the foundation of the world

9) From Camping's book "To God be the Glory" (Page 34) - "Thus when Jesus went to the cross, He was not there to pay for our sins"

10) Christ died twice when the Bible states He died once for the sins of His people (Hebrews 9:26)

11) Hell is the Grave (Family Bible Study 8/6/09 - JW doctrine)

12) The Cross and Resurrection of Christ are non-substance Tableaus

13) Solomon was an unsaved man

14) God used unbelievers to write His Holy Word

15) Denial of the Trinity - Modalism - Jesus Christ is God the Father

16) The Conditional Deity of Christ - Christ was not equal to God when He took upon Him the form of a servant

(17) Camping taught that if you believe that Christ can come on any other day than May 21, 2011, this gives evidence that you are unsaved.  (He later apologized for teaching this last point)


Jack Van Impe

In 1993 Van Impe, who formerly warned that the Roman Catholic Church is a false, apostate church, now made a complete reversal by accepting the Pope and traditional Roman Catholicism as being part of the body of Christ. He not only claimed that the Pope was a genuine Christian but also considered him to be a true prophet and defender of the faith. In a recent broadcast Van Impe explained his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, comparing it to the conversion of the Apostle Paul. He stated that he was once a fundamentalist who rejected Roman Catholicism, but now has evidently been converted.


According to Van Impe, the Vatican's doctrines are wonderfully correct: "I believe in this book," Van Impe tells the TV audience, holding up his New Catholic Catechism. "The Catholic doctrines are right on..."


"I have read the entire new catechism, 2800 points. And I know what they believe and we misrepresent them so often. I was one of those bigots who used to do it. And the Spirit spoke to me."


To Catholics he says: "You Catholic people, listen to your priests... Thank God for these Catholic leaders."


What turned Van Impe around to Catholicism? It was the Pope himself Van Impe says: "Pope John Paul II has given me real direction in my life." "He is a giant of the faith," says Van Impe.


- From the Biblicist Website


Jack Van Impe offers a DVD on his website entitled “Animals in Heaven” where he assures pet owners they will see their pets again since they are in Heaven.  Nowhere in the Bible does it state that animals have souls and especially regenerated souls unto salvation.  Romans 10:17 (KJV)   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  How does an animal hear the word of God with understanding?  In 2016 his wife Rexella was paid $174,281 in salary.  How much did you make that year?


Hank Hanegraaf

Hank Hanegraaf took over the Christian Research Institute after the home going of Dr. Walter Martin and became the Bible Answer Man on radio.   CRI is dedicated to exposing cults and false teaching.  On April 9, 2017 Hanegraaf left evangelical Christianity and joined the Greek Orthodox Church through a rite known as Chrismation.  The Greek Orthodox Church is a false church akin to the Roman Catholic Church, its churches contain many graven images and denies the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and instead, trusts in meritorious works and a sacramental system for salvation.  How can one claim to be a Bible answer man on radio when he goes against everything the Bible teaches concerning idolatry and works salvation programs?  In 2016 Hank was paid $139,613 and his wife Kathy was paid $165,656.  How did your yearly salary compare to theirs?


Here are four examples of how fame can wreck a Christian.  Many times when Christians become famous, they tend to adopt the belief that anything they say or do will be accepted willy-nilly and unfortunately that is true because 99% of all Christians refuse to do any thinking or questioning.  They believe that if a preacher is on the radio then God must think more highly of their ministry and nothing could be further from the truth.  The majority of media ministries have become enemies of Christ by reasons of their compromises and arrogance and the pushing of counterfeit Bible versions.  Send a letter to any of these media ministries stating that the speaker was wrong on a subject.  The speaker will never see it because they have a staff of stooges who will be buffers for them and it will result in continuing false teaching.  But hey, just keep sending them money so they can pay themselves 6 figure salaries while you are struggling just to make the bills each month.  www.scionofzion.com/sg.html will open your eyes to high ministry salaries these arrogant people, pay themselves on YOUR donations.


If you notice something else about these media ministries, they all quote each other, they push each other’s books, and they endorse their ministries, right or wrong.  Why do they do this?  This is a private club that no ordinary Christian may enter.  Basically it is a closed loop society.  These ministries all belong to the boot-licking Billy Graham organization called “The National Religious Broadcasters.”  No one gains entrance to their holy palace unless you pay a big entrance fee.  The Christian ministries are as controlled as the news media is in this country.  Yet, the work-a-day Christians continue to send millions of dollars to these ministries puffing them up with more pride every day.  If you listen carefully to their messages, you will find that they are no more profound than those messages preached by local preachers or their printed materials are no more profound than local Bible article writers except one major difference, you have to pay for the materials from media ministries because they think they are so insightful.  I have been saved for 38 years and have not found media ministries and famous Christians to be any more insightful in the Bible than many ordinary Christians, in fact I find them to be less insightful simply because they refuse to hear any criticism and refuse to be challenged.


I am not specifically speaking about the silly squads found on TBN, Impact, or Daystar but I am speaking about those who are not publicly charismatic.  Case in point.  I listen to Chuck Swindoll while I am showering and he had done something very sneaky to try and sell his new study bible.  He has just come out with a study bible using the New Living Translation and now he has been doing something that he never did before.  Every two or three days, before his message he reads Scripture from the New Living Translation and then the message comes on.  He never did this until he published his study bible in the New Living Translation and his Living Insight Commentaries which contain the NLT and the NASV.  Publishers pay these guys big money to push these false bibles and the greedy media preachers will be right there with their hands out.


Since the 1920s when radio made its debut, Christians have been listening and supporting the media ministries, simply because there was no one else available to listen to.  Christians were stuck with whatever came over the radio.  Back in the early days of media ministries there were many who were preaching the true gospel and that without compromise.


There was the Old Fashioned Revival Hour with Charles E. Fuller which started airing in 1937.  Paul Rader pastor of Moody Bible Church started airing Programs in Chicago June 17, 1922.  KDKA in Pittsburgh aired Christian programming starting on January 2, 1921.  In the 1920s–1930s include (years of radio broadcast shown): Bob Jones, Sr. (1927–1962), Ralph W. Sockman (1928–1962), Guerdon Elmer Lowman (1930–1965), Music and the Spoken Word (1929–present), The Lutheran Hour (1930–present), 1946 that Rev. Ralph Sockman's National Radio Pulpit on NBC received 4,000 letters weekly.  The total radio audience for radio ministers in the U.S. that year was estimated to be 10 million listeners.  So there were many good broadcasts in the early years.


Something happened to media ministries and ministers.  As we approached the 1960s, which was the decade of decadence in America, it seemed media ministries began to become liberal and many turned to social justice as their themes.  As we approached the 1990s, media ministries, both radio and TV, started becoming apostate and the charismatic health and wealth gospel took over TV with networks like TBN, Impact, and Daystar.  The true gospel was shrouded and the money gospel took over.  In 2018, try to find a gospel broadcast that isn’t politically motivated or money motivated because they all are.  Do they sell their sermons?  Do they sell their books?  Do they sell other materials?  Do they make promises of health and wealth if you fill their coffers with millions of dollars?  Up until the mid 1990s, Christians were trapped by the media cabal and most of them were dispensational in their theology which means they shoved the myth of a pre-trib rapture, the worship of the modern state of Israel, free will, etc. down the throats of every Christian who tuned in.  Then the Lord moved in the middle 1990s!


Enter The Great Equalizer

No longer would Christians be subject to a few media ministries with their untouchable leaders.  The Lord now gave us the Internet which continues to allow Christians with no hidden agendas to send forth the gospel to the world.  No longer would Christians have to be subject to the apostasy and heresy of famous Christians.  As I stated before that the Holy Spirit indwells each true Christian and now the opportunity exists where Christians who would never have a chance to break into the private club of media ministry, can now send forth the gospel to the entire world.  Now instead of funding these media ministries, Christians can now put that money aside and invest it in their own on-line ministries which is what I personally do.  You see God does not punish you because you don’t have a bunch of tax deductible receipts from media ministries.


When you take your own money and place it into on-line ministry that sends forth the true gospel, you will be more blessed because you are in control of what you teach and not subject to some heretical yoyo on a media ministry.  You can bless the world with the true gospel. One great thing about the internet is when you upload an article, it can be instantly seen in every country in the world.  You work hard for your money so why send it into a media ministry who will eventually bastardize the true gospel just to placate certain people groups.  As you create studies, you upload them and others around the world can benefit from your studies.  Alongside your internet ministry there is no reason that you cannot take your funds and invest them in a physical ministry of some type like tract passing, itinerant preaching, volunteering in a rescue mission or at church.  There are so many ministries that one can partake in, just pray and ask the Lord where he would have you serve.  A Christian once told me that they had nothing to do.  I thought to myself, 7 ½ billion people on this earth who need to hear the gospel and this Christian had nothing to do.  This mindset occurs when we relegate ministry to others instead of getting involved ourselves.  This is what happens when we send money to media ministries, we send all our working capital to someone else and then we have nothing left over for our own ministries.


What I am not saying

I am not saying that good ministries do not deserve support.  I personally send funds to World Missionary Press and Our Father's Persistent Love Ministries and Trinitarian Bible Society.   World Missionary Press sends Bible booklets and studies in over 340 languages all over the world.  Christian Resource International sends used Christian books and materials all over the world helping to supply materials for pastors and indigenous churches.  Now these are the kinds of ministries that should be supported not these bloated famous Christians who think the Christian world revolves around them and believe they can say or teach whatever they want and never be challenged.  With the internet, we can challenge their false teachings and we should.


I think you kind of get the message concerning ministry and how serious it is.  Padding the pockets of media ministries, both charismatic and non-charismatic, is not wise stewardship.  Do not fear to keep your money for your own ministry.  Giving to ministry does not mean sending everything to media ministries but means the money is set aside for ministry.  You can buy some good King James Bibles and give them out to those who need one but cannot afford to buy one.  You can buy several hundred tracts and head out to the streets.  Tract passing was one of my favorite ministries before I became disabled.  So invest your heard earned money in your own ministry because I can guarantee you that each Christian has a gift for ministry.  What’s yours?