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A Clarification about the San Bernardino Tragedy, from Jews for Jesus

In the wake of the tragic shooting in San Bernardino, literally thousands of articles have emerged about one of the victims, Nicholas Thalasinos. Those reports have identified Thalasinos as a Messianic Jew. They also say that he got into heated discussions about the nature of Islam with co-worker Syed Farook, who authorities say carried out the attack along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik.

New York Daily News columnist Linda Stasi is now saying that Thalasinos shares the blame for the attack because of strongly-worded posts on his Facebook page.

In a balanced and informative article today, Jewish Telegraphic Agency [JTA] writer Uriel Heilman noted that Thalasinos was actually a “Gentile supporter of Israel.” He noted that “Thalasinos apparently identified as a messianic Jew, but not as Jewish.” As recently as September, Thalasinos wrote to a friend, “As a gentile who loves HaShem, I know my place is to support Israel and the Jewish people.”

We mourn the death of all fourteen victims. As to Stasi’s charges, we think this is a time for empathy and prayer, not accusations. As one commentator noted, “Speech is speech and bullets are bullets.”

In his otherwise accurate piece for JTA, Heilman had written, “One of the best-known messianic missionary groups, Jews for Jesus, actually is comprised in large part by Christians.” Our spokesperson, Susan Perlman, responded to Heilman, stating, in part, “Those who call themselves Jews for Jesus, whether on our staff (we employ about 250 people worldwide) or those who identify with us, are Jewish and at some point decided to follow Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. So your phrase ‘Jews for Jesus actually is comprised in large part by [Gentile] Christians,’ would give the impression that Jews for Jesus are not Jews, which we would disagree with strongly. . . . I’d be happy to have a more in-depth discussion on the matter if you’d like.”

Although Heilman declined Susan’s invitation for further discussion, he did delete the line about Jews for Jesus.

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0 # Ronnie 2015-12-08 12:27
Is it wrong to not allow Muslims in the US. It it wrong to not trust them. When a certain group becomes a majority it seems to me then they force there beliefs on others. Saul was killing Christians till God blinded him. The old testament God told people not to mingle with certain groups of people. It seems he said this was for a reason. It seems all muslims are not bad, but when things do not go there way they change. It seems this terrorist behavior is embedded. Im just sayin!. I could be wrong. I do not want to discriminate but when looking at the facts it makes me question is there some truth. Also when thinking about the old testament bible it makes me to think wow the same thing is happening again. I live in California near that San Bernardino area. You hear these things on the news all the time. So when it hits home it makes you think . I mean please elaborate because this is crazy. I need some clarity.
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0 # Matt Sieger 2015-12-08 13:27
Ronnie,
Our clarification only has to do with the designation by the media of Nicholas Thalasinos as a "Messianic Jew," and that Jewish believers in Jesus are indeed Jewish. We also made the point that we do not agree with columnist Linda Stasi. We were not commenting about Muslims.
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# Guest 2015-12-08 12:27
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 
 
0 # Danica 2015-12-07 16:19
The accusation and implication that Nicholas Thalasinos should in any way be gels responsible is appalling! For one, this is tthe United States, where we are given the right to free speech. While words most assuredly have power and strength to potentially wound, they do not have the same deadly force as bullets.The words may have gotten heated, but he was following the duties as a follower of Christ, to teach others of Christ's sacrifice and guide them into the fold. While the men were both empassioned, there is a line. It is one thing to vehemently proclaim your beliefs, it is another to strike a man dead, or worse, kill innocent souls who have done nothing to harm or endanger you.
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0 # Dianne Brockman 2015-12-07 16:03
As far as believers are concerned, the media does not care if they are accurate or not. It's notable that Heilman did delete the error about Christians being a part of JFJ. I don't understand the confusion, the name is self-explanatory. You are all in my prayers as you fulfill the Great Commision commanded by our Savior. May God continue to use you to point the way to Jesus!
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