I can try to answer for God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and Jesus, God the Son.
He asks His children to speak the truth in love.
( We are not always obedient in this, yet He forgives us because of His Son. )
RE:>> * Credentials *
Assuming you talking about "good works" as "credentials" ---
RE:>> * what are they for? *
They are a way to express love to the Lord as a token of the love He showed us. That love which we can NEVER repay.
RE:>> * Do credentials bring us closer to your
"God's Way?" *
No. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags.
We do good works because we are close to God.
Nothing can bring you close to God except accepting that you have sinned against Him and recognizing that you have a sin debt which you cannot pay – only Jesus could pay it.
He paid it in full, you need only accept His gift.
RE:>> * Can the merits of ideas be considered independently of human-devised dominance hierarchies (aka credentials)? *
No. There is no merit in anything a sinful man can bring before a holy God.
There is no idea that any man has ever had that God did not first allow.
God has no need of anything, nor can you ever bring anything before Him that
did not first come from Him. But –
He desires to give you His love and to have a close personal one-to-one relationship with Him.
He expressed this desire in the most loving way possible. He came and died for you on a cross.
God is so holy that most do not come close to apprehending. No sin can be in His presence.
The only way to remove our sin is by a perfect sacrifice. That perfect sacrifice was His own Son.
Can you begin to understand this love ? It is beyond me, but I know it is real.
May God speak and may each of us listen with an open heart to His great mercy and love.
God bless each of you, Eric %^)