This case breaks with the all too common FBI provocateur urging on and entrapping some misguided fool. These men look to be the real thing.
There's actually a lot of this type of Right-wing terror going on but the media (generally speaking) is not making a great deal of noise about it.
It's quite obvious these men (for many reasons) are not Christians despite their identification with 'Crusade'.
And yet there are growing numbers of people like this who profess to be Christians in some broad sense and yet have no understanding of what it actually means.
Christian to them means white and libertarian.
The 'Sovereign Citizens' movement is also growing and its heretical ideas are infiltrating Christian circles. These so-called citizens believe they are the 'true' Americans and the government is illegitimate. If they interact with Scripture they read it through a Lockean/Enlightenment lens. They're so confused about 'rights', 'property' and 'The Constitution' that they cannot even grasp what the New Testament teaches. They perform what can only be called feats of hermeneutical gymnastics when it comes to passages like Romans 13.
Good is evil and evil is good.
Their ethics are completely inverted. The powers that be are not ordained by God. Don't obey them and don't ever pay taxes. That's what Paul really meant to say.
Many of them are in addition to being Christian heretics, little more than criminals. Consumed by selfishness and self-absorption they have bought into the lie that any type of 'society' is effectively collectivism and thus by their convoluted deduction... communist. They have not grasped or even seriously contemplated even the basic premise of what is a society and what that means.
It means compromise. It means having to learn how to get along and live with other people. If people can't learn to think of others, then it results in rules and restrictions. Ironically if you happen to live near a 'Sovereign Citizen' you'll find yourself craving for more rules and regulations. You'll find yourself wishing the state would exercise a little sovereignty. They are a gluttonous people in every way and that's true whether or not they are physically overweight. They are selfish and inconsiderate of everyone else around them.
Does the state apparatus and its bureaucracy become corrupted? Of course. If you accept what the Bible says about sin then you will expect that. Our task is to live in the world and bear witness. Our task is to follow the example of Christ and suffer to the glory of God. State corruption is the norm and hardly anything to get too worked up about.
It's funny if you don't really care about your 'rights', your firearms and your stashed gold... if you actually live as a pilgrim and stranger then some of these things just don't matter too much.
These Sovereign Citizens knowing neither the Gospel nor the God who offers it believe salvation is self-empowerment. In the spirit of Nimrod they would proclaim themselves lords over all.
They are actually evil criminals and those that profess to be Christians are (spiritually speaking) worse than the average lost pagan. Because they have given their sin a theological veneer they are actually more dangerous to the Church than your average drug dealer or thief.
Their ideas are infiltrating conservative Christian circles. This is where it leads. It leads to rage and violence.
Have nothing to do with these people. If they're in your church, it's a sign the elders have either capitulated or they're failing at their task. I would want to keep my distance from them and those that associate with them. I say this not just for practical concerns regarding a law enforcement drag net. But I also say it in terms of testimony. They are evil... I mean that quite literally... and I don't want to associate myself with these people in any capacity, with them or what they're about. If we are to avoid the appearance of evil, then we must stay away from them. If we are to conform to the Apostle's words in 1 Corinthians 5, we should not associate with such.