What About You?

How about you?
I’ve read scores of “god books.” I’ve studied and taught the bible. I was involved in traditional churches from the first week of my life. I have a closet full of tee shirts that all say “Been there, done that, worn out and disappointed.”
Many of the books I’ve read have some merit. Scripture certainly has merit—when read through the lens of Truth (another name for Grace). I’ve known wonderful people in churches and had some good experiences.
But I never met Grace in any of those.
I learned about a fictitious version of “god” who is angry, distant, aloof, separate from us, always displeased, continually keeping a list of our mistakes, has to be appeased, has an impossible-to-keep list of rules, can’t stand to be in our presence, and is bound and determined to mete out Eternal Conscious Torment to those of us who can’t seem to get “it” right. Oh…and I also learned that version of “god” was good and loved me…unless I messed up.
I could never get past that cognitive dissonance…and I was a pastor for 20 years! Another word for it is “Aporia” — an irresolvable internal contradiction or logical disjunction in a text, argument, or theory.
How about you? How do you reconcile religion’s cognitive dissonance/aporia? Honest comments are welcome. Those who just post bible verses and/or references with no accompanying explanation will be quickly be removed to the skubala file:)