Last Member of 'Christian' Militia Arrested

The last member of a Michigan-based group of self-proclaimed "Christian" militants was arrested on Monday after a peaceful standoff with FBI officials.

Officials reported that family members helped to coax 21-year-old Joshua Matthew Stone into surrendering without conflict.

"I want to thank…the members of the Stone family. They worked with us, recorded some messages, we actually played messages over the loudspeaker," FBI agent Andy Arena told ABC News.

Stone was reportedly on the run after the other eight members of his militia group Hutaree, which the group says means "warriors of God," were arrested in FBI raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio over the weekend.

Among those arrested were Stone's father, 44-year-old David Brian Stone, stepmother Tina Mae Stone, and brother, David Stone Jr.

The group, led by David Stone Sr., were detained for allegedly plotting to kill police officers in an elaborate plan they had been constructing for nearly two years.

According to the indictment against the group, members of Hutaree had planned to kill local law enforcement officers during a staged traffic stop or a fake 911 call.

During the murdered officers' funeral, the group further plotted that they would kill the police who were gathered using homemade explosives noted in the indictment as "weapons of mass destruction."

The indictment further states that the Hutaree considers as enemies "state and local law enforcement, who are deemed 'foot-soldiers' of the Federal government, federal law enforcement agencies and employees, participants in the 'New World Order,' and anyone who does not share in the Hutaree's beliefs."

A statement on the Hutaree's website defines their beliefs as being:"We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All Christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded."

"Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment. The only thing on earth to save the testimony and those who follow it, are the members of the testimony, til the return of Christ in the clouds," the statement reads. "We, the Hutaree, are prepared to defend all those who belong to Christ and save those who aren't. We will still spread the word, and fight to keep it, up to the time of the great coming."

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson writes that the Hutaree incident "highlights the obvious: For decades now, the most serious threat of domestic terrorism has come from the growing ranks of paranoid, anti-government hate groups that draw their inspiration, vocabulary and anger from the far right."

According to Robinson, "the vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on [right wing] talk radio every day -- and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies -- is calibrated not to inform but to incite."

Author and former pastor Brian McLaren, says the issue, "highlights the need for Christians to grapple with the question of God's violence or nonviolence."

"It's strange and sad -- but perhaps highly opportune for engendering needed conversation -- that this story would come up during Holy Week. This is the week Christians recall that Jesus was willing to be killed, but not to kill ... to be tortured, but not to torture. This is the week, according to the gospel narratives, that Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, saying, 'Those who live by the sword will die by the sword," McLaren says, noting that groups like Hutaree often justify their violence in pointing to an image of Christ with a sword in the book of Revelation, which suggests that even though Jesus "wasn't violent in his first coming, he will be violent when he returns."

An excerpt from McLaren's book A New Kind of Christianity says that, "Revelation is not portraying Jesus returning to earth in the future, having repented of his naive gospel ways and having converted to Caesar's 'realistic' Greco-Roman methods instead. He hasn't gotten discouraged about Caesar seeming to get the upper hand after his resurrection and on that basis concluded that it's best to live by the sword after all."

"Revelation celebrates not the love of power, but the power of love. It denies, with all due audacity, that God's anointed liberator is the Divine Terminator, threatening revenge for all who refuse to honor him, growling, 'I'll be back!' It asserts, instead, that God's anointed liberator is the one we beat up, who promises mercy to those who strike him, whispering, 'Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'"

Author of a dozen titles, McLaren is considered one of the most influential voices in Christianity today and a leader in the "emergent" church movement.

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