The root of the problem can be found in “…the worldview issues which seem to be at the root of …particular frustration. Based on (many) comments, I believe I see a pattern. The God of the Christian worldview is holy AND he is just AND he is love. All three of these characteristics must be reconciled for anyone to truly understand the God of the Bible. Some people only want a God of love, so anything which seems to stray from their own perception of what that means causes them to view the God described in the Bible as unloving. They are unwilling to allow that he is also holy and just. At this point, it seems to me that this is a place you are struggling.
“The God described in the Bible is first and foremost holy. In fact, he is holy to the point of perfection and will not fellowship with unholiness. This does not mean he will not strive in our lives, but that he will not accept and condone unholiness. Unholiness is sin and those who choose to live in unholiness choose to live in death (eternal death). As much as it hurts God to see people choose that path, he restrains himself in order to allow human beings to have legitimate free will. If he did not judge sin, then he would either have to deny his own character or he would have to eliminate human free will.
“At this point, God’s justice comes to the forefront. The God described in the Bible is perfectly just. He does not allow any injustice to win out. So, when individuals, by their own free will choose to live in unholiness, they have chosen to receive the justice of God. God did not choose it for them. So, when you read in the Old Testament about God pronouncing judgment on people, it is not an unjust determination he has made. God has not arbitrarily just gone (and) slaughtered people. They are receiving the ultimate fruit of their own choices. Can you imagine a world where justice is not finally accomplished? It is not a pretty thought.
“Finally, God is perfect love. He does not want anyone to perish but for all to come to eternal life. He is patient with us even though we don’t deserve it. In fact, he devised a way to have justice satisfied in a way that allows us to receive mercy rather than justice. And to pull that off, he literally put himself in a position to receive the fruit of the penalty of sin on himself. As a result, it is not necessary for ANYONE to receive judgment. But to receive the mercy, people must be willing to receive Christ. Those who don’t make this choice are, by default, choosing to reject God’s love. God doesn’t make this choice for people. Again, to not provide perfect justice, he would either have to deny his own character or eliminate human free will.
“It appears to me that (many) want a God who is different than the one described in the Bible. (They) want a God who does not expect holiness from those he would fellowship with… a God who will not be just with those who are determined to live in sin. If, indeed, that is the kind of God (that is wanted), they will definitely have to go somewhere else to find him. I, personally, don’t know where else (they) might go because I believe the God of the Bible is the only actually real God in existence. To get another one, (people) will have to make him up in (their) own minds.
“I think it is a simple as that. If (we) want to allow for human beings to have actual free will, then (we) will have to come to grips that we must also be responsible for how we use it. Our choices occur within the context of the fact that reality actually exists the way it is described in the Bible. There are other ways people perceive reality (other worldview possibilities). I don’t believe any of the other possibilities reflect actual reality.”