a) re: old wounds - i opened the topic, not you, no need to apologize. if it wasn't up for discussion, i wouldn't have posted it. :)
I'm not sure I'm clear on your saying 'God is independent of our actions'. You mean like, 'all Gods being "equal", why the Christian one?' I'm very demanding. God would have to be able to have been human for me to know he understands the human condition instead of just snugly perched on his throne, blissfully ignorant of it. Christ came, saw, conquered, got the t-shirt, and promises the whole world will have a chance to know him before the door of opportunity is shut. Equal opportunity. With the love that he woulda done it for a single one, not just a lotta people. Each one matters. Even the one in the desert, with no books, no human contact, would not be made unaware of him and have the opportunity.
There are many 'religions', 'collections of teachings', which reflect some of the basic 'be nices' found in the bible. Good people already know these precepts without studying religion (and that's mentioned in the bible, too). But knowing why/for WHOM (as an honor to God) one DOES want to be good makes a difference, gives strength to action, etc.
How do I know which/what from the 'long paste'? Maybe I should take mine one by one. It's almost like asking how I know I can trust my husband; I have no reason NOT to, because he hasn't betrayed me all this time, so he logically probably will not. But onto the statements:
1) Seeking truth being the right direction: logically, how can it be the wrong direction? Is there harm in seeking even if there's the risk of not finding?
2)Don't settle for words from me/others that he exists/cares, etc. All humans being of equal value, why would your discoveries of him in your own life be any less valid?
3) No need to be afraid of speaking with him directly/opening up to listening to him: I've tested those waters, and there's no sharks. You'll find that yourself, I know; others have. What's the worse that'll happen - no sense of communication? would that be a step down from where you appear to feel right now?
4) his words not meant to harm you but build you up into the best you he had in mind to design. no promise of roses, but absolute peace and satisfaction of the 'right'. he promised in the bible, i and many others have seen the fruit of these promises kept. i don't expect you to believe this or anything else i post. but, if nothing else, if you DO come to have a relationship with your maker directly and, by and by, happen to recall mention of the things you've read from me and others you've asked, it may come together later. but if these words don't come to mind later, i won't be offended. it'll probably be because you're too busy enjoying the fruits of your faith, and how could i be offended at that? :)
besides. i'm not THAT creative a writer that i can make this stuff up - it's too sickeningly sweet even for my style sometimes! haha