There's a whole lotta controversy right now about God and His intentions for mankind. Some say this and some say that concerning issues like eternal damnation, homosexuality, and so on. For me I'm reminded of conversations between God and man that have been understood to take place such as in the Garden of Eden when God asked, "who told you...?", or when Jesus asked Peter, "who do 'men' say I am?", and then He asked "who do 'YOU' say I am?".
Well, there's a host of people loudly proclaiming God to be mostly an angry or vindictive or exacting God, and they are satisfied with remaining in agreement with centuries of religious tradition. Such tradition pretty much makes an airtight case that you and I ain't gonna make the cut unless we do the right things very carefully. Such tradition compels us to assume the identity of a beggar or orphan or outcast who lives in fear and torment of God. THEY say this and that. And they are quick to 'proof-text' their dogma with scripture and verse.
But as for me, I'm moving beyond the distorted echoes of what man has presumed about God's character and intentions and I'm willing to wage everything I am on Who I know Him to BE: LOVE! This Love did NOT leave us naked. This Love did not leave us as orphans or outcasts. This Love did not leave us beggars. It is nothing but FEAR that promotes such thinking and 'there is no fear in love'.
There are those who like to point to this verse and that verse to impose their scornful and accusing doctrines on others. But we must remember we are invited to hear HIS VOICE and not follow another... we are to live by the words that 'proceed from the MOUTH of God'. What does that look like? Well, in my opinion, IT AIN'T COMPLICATED. It's essentially you and me discovering the freedom to follow our own hearts, and trust that HE is able to connect with us there. Love is the mark of His voice, not fear. If it doesn't sound like Love, then leave it behind.
"But..." they are quick to say. And then they pummel you with a litany of Bible verses depicting God to be eager to 'getcha'. They fail to give deserving weight to the muchness of Christ and the Work of The Cross, but they are quick to burden their listeners with millstones of dogma. Their "god" looks everything like a mutation of mythological lightning welding titans, eager to slay anything that dares to stand in his way.
"Who do you say I am?"
"Who told you?"
As for me, I say, God is LOVE. I believe He walked this earth in the form of a man named Jesus. Jesus reminded those He walked among that in seeing Him they had seen the Father. He had demonstrated that the Truth IS in Love.
We are not naked outcasts. We are very much IN Christ, adorned with all that He is - this is the GOOD NEWS!
Religion hides the simplicity of the good news for good reason, it can't stay in business if you don't buy their 'other gospel' that keeps you under a burden of fear and doubt. If religion really is good for anything, it's for wearing out any hope that we have any life outside of simply resting in the muchness of Christ IN us!