And I think this is the crux of our disagreement. As mentioned earlier (and I think you would agree?) you need to reject huge sections of the Bible, and a very pervasive theme that runs throughout, to maintain this position.
“The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.”
“behold, the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.”
“Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine.”
“The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment…”
And I could of course go on and on. Point is this is not just a one-time event or perspective we can ignore as the overzealous hostility of a single Bible author, some minor aspect that we can take or leave from Scripture without it affecting much else… this theme is pervasive from Genesis to Revelation, including from Christ, that the God described therein is a God who brings punishment.
Much more I could say, but two quick observations, and please correct me if I misunderstand or if I am misrepresenting you. These are my impressions, but I don’t want to misspeak about your position. But my impression is as follows…
Firstly, It seems to me, respectfully, that your understanding of God is not in any sense derived from the Bible. You seem to have an idea of who God is or must be, what a “just” God must be like, that you have derived from other sources, from which to reject large and significant swaths of scripture as erroneous. But the picture of God that you have, if I understand it, is not one that came from Scripture. At best, your perspective, derived from elsewhere, may be reinforced by selecting some Scriptures that resonate with your perspective, while rejecting others that do not so resonate. It sounds very much like Lewis’s description… “the doctrines which one finds easy are the doctrines which give Christian sanction to truths you already knew.”
Secondly, my bottom line is simply to ask, if the Bible is so corrupted as to be so full, pervasively, of these erroneous teachings of God as exacting violent, being angry, and punishing, then it what sense can we call it inspired in any sense whatsoever? Why should we trust as authoritative anything it says about God, if you are ready to reject nearly half of what it says about God? On what basis do you believe the other half to be relevatory?
The same Scripture that we turn to to find that God is loving, compassionate, forgiving, merciful, and lavish in kindness is the same that says he punishes. And it isn’t like it is two separate easily divisive sections, but they are enmeshed and intertwined. “abounding in love, but does not leave the guilty unpunished.” “These will go to everlasting punishment, but these to everlasting life,” “They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, , then the righteous will shine like the sun.” It isn’t a matter of throwing bath water out but keeping the baby, it is more like trying to remove a pound of flesh but not spilling a drop of blood.
To paraphrase what I’m hearing you saying, what I’m hearing is essentially…
“The Scripture is absolutely true, and reveals absolute , inspired, revelatory truth about God as he revealed specifically about himself about his very nature… except for all those vast and numerous parts that I disagree with…?”
I don’t mean to sound accusatory or antagonistic, but unless I misunderstand, this seems to be essentially what you are saying? Please help me if I misunderstand?