Yes, He IS love, and cannot be anything but love. There are other attributes, of course, but His essential essence is love.
However, the God whom so many preach and teach comes across as some kind of
We are horrified when we hear of what man does to man - torture, abuse of the worst sort, murder - the list goes on. "How can anyone DO such things to another human being? To children? To the defenseless?"
And yet...and yet, listen to what these pious sorts have to say about this "God of love..." I quote:
Some even believe unbaptized babies and children would be among the hordes of evil human devils burning in hellfire forever. For instance, a quote from a 19th Century English Roman Catholic priest whose primary ministry was to children:
"Little child, if you go to hell there will be a devil at your side to strike you. He will go on striking you every minute for ever and ever without stopping.... How, then, will your body be after the devil has been striking it every moment for a hundred million of years without stopping? Perhaps at this moment, seven o'clock in he evening, a child is just going into hell. Tomorrow evening, at seven o'clock, go and knock at the gates of hell and ask what the child is doing.....Go in a week and ask what the child is doing; you will get the same answer, it is burning; Go in a year and asks the same answer comes it is burning. Go in a million of years and ask the same question, the answer is just the same--it is burning. So, if you go for ever and ever, you will always get the same answer--it is burning in the fire.... The little child is in the red hot oven...how it screams to come out..." I cannot go on, for my soul is overwhelmed with horror that there were those who would so torture a child, "in the name of truth."
But there is more - this from the "saintly" Jonathon Edwards (who continues to be much quoted and revered), in his sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God":
"The road to hell is paved with the skulls of unbaptized babies." And, "It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it throughout all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For ‘who knows the power of God's anger?’"
He also said in his sermon, The Eternity of Hell Torments (April 1739): "The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardour of the love and gratitude of the saints of heaven.
"The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. . .Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell. . . I tell you, yea! Such will be his sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss."
Just one more demented view of God’s love and everlasting burnings:
"If my own mother were being carried to the mouth of hell, I would stand and applaud." This was said by a professor in a mainline denominational seminary, and he explained, "...hell will be ‘understandable,’ and the saved will rejoice in the misery of the unsaved, once the saved see the glory of Christ and the justice of God." From the book Four Views on Hell Zondervan, 1996, p. 48.
Surely, these men, and countless others before and after them, created a god after their own image and likeness. It was certainly not in any manner the image and likeness of which the scriptures speak, especially when they are translated properly.
(From Elwin Roach, The Pathfinder).
Surely these samples are enough to fill us with great sorrow. and horror, that there are those who would tell us this "monster" is a God of love!
My own thought is - deep down, most do not truly believe such. If they did, then...why are they not out roaming the streets, begging people to turn to Christ?! And if they are not doing so, and they still profess this kind of God, then - are they not hypocrites, or worse?
Having said all this, I also know that they cannot see the truth because God has not opened their hearts and ears to hear and see. And if He has continued to blind them, then - there is a Godly, and LOVING purpose in His so doing...until HIS time for each to see who He really is.
Ah, dear Father, open the eyes of all that they might see and know you, Love Himself!