Response: BYNA exists to assist the emergence of the reconstituted people of Northern Israel – the House of Ephraim, or Yosef (Joseph). As our name indicates, we seek to do this on behalf of and in cooperation with that part of the returning House of Yosef located on the continent of North America. In time we hope to develop community and commercial structures, but for now, our vision is limited to the educational function of promoting Ephraimite awareness, and the spiritual function of nurturing repentance and reconciliation among the fragmented elements of our people. In accomplishing these twin functions, we seek to establish and strengthen ties with all of YHVH’s people, including the various streams of Hebrew Roots and Messianic fellowships, as well as the traditional Christian church and non-Messianic Judaism. Ephraimites may be found in all of these elements, and each plays a role in the completion of the Almighty’s plan of redemption for the Whole House of Israel. BYNA works to cultivate good relationships wherever and whenever possible while maintaining our core belief in the promises of YHVH that He will restore all Twelve Tribes of Israel, and that many people of the returning Lost Ten Tribes of Yosef/Ephraim are now found within the Christian church and the emerging Hebrew Roots Movement.
Response: BYNA’s expansion is not according to an established plan, but we have considered the possibility of serving as an umbrella organization for fellowships, congregations, and other organizations. Our intent is to facilitate building connections among existing entities rather than creating something new to replace or duplicate them. We would like to promote connections to the Land and people of Israel and to the Jewish community in North America through participation in or support of initiatives like Lev Haolam, HaYovel, and the Taglit Birthright program. BYNA may, in time, develop programs like these on our own, but for now, we see the wisdom in working through existing organizations like the Messianic Covenant Community (MCC), Hebraic Roots Network, Hebrew Nation Radio, and Alliance of Redeemed Israel to promote, assist, and help grow the services already offered. Our most ambitious vision may be the establishment of a Chamber of Commerce to encourage the economic development and networking of Hebrew Roots fellowships, congregations, and communities. It will take time to reach that goal, so our initial expectations are more modest. For now, we are content to serve as a forum for making connections and a facilitator for removing barriers to cooperation among the many different elements of the Hebrew Roots Movement in North America.
Response: The Family Gatherings are the main vehicle for BYNA’s growth. This happens not by establishing membership procedures, but by setting aside a time when believers from across the spectrum of Messiah’s Body can join together as part of His covenant people, Israel, to worship our King on the day He sanctified. The Family Gathering initiative does not seek to compete with any local fellowships or congregations, but rather enhance the work of local fellowships by promoting unity and facilitating connections among individuals and organizations. These connections are already beginning in many areas, often thanks to a similar vision. We welcome the opportunity to connect with fellowships and congregations working toward city, state, province, or regional unity to see if they would want to affiliate with the Family Gathering initiative.
Response: The first thing individuals, fellowships, and congregations can do is to ask questions and offer ideas in the interest of promoting our mutual identity as Israelites of the returning House of Yosef/Ephraim. By embracing that identity, our people will come together as a distinct people. There is room for doctrinal differences and diverse practices of Torah observance based on the many valid forms of Scripture interpretation. Diversity should not be a cause of division, but a vehicle for unity as we seek to understand one another and the parts each of us play in the Almighty’s Kingdom plan. As Ephraimites, we share a love of the Torah given by YHVH through Moshe, and a devotion to Messiah Yeshua, Who lived out that same Torah and taught His followers to imitate His example. We also share a love for our brethren of Yehuda (the Jewish people) and a desire to be reunified with them when Messiah Son of David makes the Two Sticks one in His hand (Ezekiel 37:15-28). Any difference of opinion or practice which does not contradict these things we hold in common should not serve as a means of division. It remains to be seen whether we can pass that test and learn to live together in love as Torah requires and as our Messiah and His apostles taught. If individuals and fellowships/congregations can do so, then they will not only be helping to unify BYNA but will be fulfilling the greater purposes of our King in unifying His people worldwide.
Response: There is a desire to interface with official and private entities within the State of Israel, but how that will happen is yet to be seen. Currently, there is no official BYNA outreach to the Government of Israel or to other organizations, but BYNA leaders have been blessed with the beginnings of relationships with Jewish counterparts in the Land. We anticipate that this “behind the scenes” relationship building will be the Almighty’s means for us to establish credibility and trust with our Israeli brethren and with the Jewish community at large. This is the example we have seen in the work of organizations like HaYovel and the Kibbutz Beth-El Christian community in Israel. We seek to work with and learn from organizations like these so that we may join them as part of the bridge YHVH is building between the two parts of His people. As we do so, we will be on the alert for doors that open to Jewish organizations looking for the return of the Ten Tribes or seeking to promote interfaith dialogue with Christians and Messianic/Hebraic believers, and also to officials of the Government of Israel.