The James Gang, also known as the James-Younger Gang, was a nineteenth century band of outlaws led by the notorious Frank and Jesse James, and Cole Younger. They robbed trains, stagecoaches, and banks.
According to linecamp.com:
James Gang Originally formed around 1866, with its leaders being, Frank James, Jesse James, and Cole Younger. From 1866 to 1881, the James Gang knew a fairly active life. James Gang members averaged around twelve men, formerly members of Quantrills Guerillas
James Gang carried out stagecoach robberies with elaborate escape routes and knew the area, the lawmen and the communities. The Missouri southern sympathizers regularly sheltered from the long arm of the law the James Gang.
Within the spiritual realm, there is also a “James Gang” of sorts. Their leaders are not the James brothers or Cole Younger. Their leader is Satan. Their targets aren’t trains, stagecoaches, or banks. Their target is the gospel. Their weapons aren’t guns. Their weapons are Bible verses, always taken out of context, used to try to prove that one CANNOT be saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Their weapon of choice? The book of James.
Following is an observation on the misuse of the book of James by Lordship “salvationists” from Clear Gospel Campaign:
…those who believe that they, rather than Jesus Christ, are the Savior of their own souls, have, for centuries, sought from Scripture proof-texts to justify this conclusion.
Perhaps no other passage in Scripture has been more abused to justify this belief than the second chapter of James. As a result, unregenerate teachers claim that James teaches salvation by “faith plus works, and justification by “faith plus works,” and that evangelicals are preaching a half-truth when they preach that Jesus Christ alone is sufficient for man’s salvation.
The spiritual James Gang does not commit their crimes on horseback. They commit their crimes from the pulpit, from behind a keyboard, in Bible studies, in social media, and in the printing press.
Just like the James-Younger Gang had sympathizers, the spiritual James Gang has sympathizers who aid and abet their assaults on the gospel. Some of the sympathizers do it knowingly, while others are unwitting.
Forms of sympathy for the evil works of the James Gang include: joining their churches, buying their books, maintaining Christian fellowship with them, and worst of all – agreeing with them IN PART.
Consider, for example, the following quote from Charles Ryrie, whom many would consider to be a champion for the purity of the gospel, on James 2:24:
Unproductive faith cannot save because it is not genuine faith. Faith and works are like a two-coupon ticket to Heaven. The coupon of works is not good for passage, and the coupon of faith is not valid if detached from works.
The reality is, the book of James was written to believers, calling them to an active faith. It was written, because many of its readers need to be spurred by God’s Word to an active faith. It was not written to tell who the “real Christians” are. It was not a “test of life” to determine whether someone had, or had not, believed in Christ as Savior.
Following are some key points to consider, from Clear Gospel Campaign:
James is not speaking of being saved by “faith plus works.”
James is not speaking of a “faith that works.” (As if works “automatically” follow eternal salvation.)
James is not saying that works will “automatically” follow eternal salvation.
James is not saying that works will “prove” whether or not someone has “really” been saved.
The reason, quite simply, is that James isn’t speaking about eternal salvation at all. He is speaking of salvation from trials and hardships.
While the target of the spiritual James Gang is the gospel, the victims are the people who teach a false gospel and the people who believe it. If you have been victimized by the James Gang, and would like to know how to receive the FREE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE, please read the following link: