Wednesday, 29 February 2012 by Tanner Clarke
Going back to biblical roots and worshiping God by the example in the Bible is what one local congregation is trying to do.
The Beit Tefilla Messianic Congregation is a new Messianic Jewish congregation in Belton.
Rabbi Joseph Settle was with a congregation in Austin for about 10 years as the Assistant Rabbi but he lived in the Belton/Temple area.
For many years people would go down to Austin from this area to attend services but found they wanted something a little closer to home.
"We are a new congregation started from scratch," Rabbi Settle said. "We are still very young . . . but lots of people are interested in who we are."
Beit Tefilla, the congregation's name, is Hebrew for "House of Prayer" which is in reference to Isaiah 56 which says, ". . . My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
Very simply, Messianic Jews believe that Jesus is the Messiah and the covenant relationship with God is still present, so the Law should still be obeyed.
Using the Jewish people of the Bible as a template, they see a way of following God that is very biblical.
"We believe what the Bible says," Rabbi Settle said. "We seek to practice it like the Bible teaches. We see ourselves to be practicing a very biblically-based faith.
"If you would like to learn more . . . and get an understanding the roots we'd love to tell you about it."
Early into the process Rabbi Settle is very ambitious about the congregation, its impact on the community and its ability to serve the community.
"I see it becoming very flourishing," he said. "Lots of people are going back to their biblical roots and worshiping God in that way.
"It's my hope . . . to get involved in other community activities."
Thoughts of leadership and family development classes and evening bible study classes are dreams of the congregation for now as it tries to grow and develop.
"Step one is to get the congregation launched," Rabbi Settle said.
Beit Tefilla Messianic Congregation holds Shabbat Morning Services at 10 a.m. every Saturday at 101B Greenbrier in Belton (one block south of the Wal-Mart on Main Street).
For more information, call (877) 717-3030.