I believe in God, but it is, and has always been very difficult. I believed when I was young, and nearly all the adults of my grandparents' generation believed, and went to church and taught me the basics of God, Jesus and Satan. (I liked looking at Bibles because of the cool red text in half of it).
My father stepped in, alarmed at what some of these people were teaching me (such as fighting always being wrong), and then indoctrinated me into scientific naturalism, via nature shows. Then, on my own, in teens, was put off by the politicized Christian Right (and all the attacks on evolution and premarital sex), I turned against religion.
A few years later, I turned back toward it, due to the fact that it kept bugging me so, and then I came across systems of prophecy that seemed to be proven in certain historical events (which the older type religion I knew did not get into). Thus, it seemed to offer some sort of hope in an often frustrating world.
But there were still a lot of unanswered questions, and people could pontificate so well on so many doctrines, and "Christian living" principles, but they would always run up on areas where they have nothing but "pat answers" or platitudes, or the old standby of "we'll understand when we get to Heaven/(the Kingdom)". (which is what their forebears, who turned off my parents' generations, were known for).
So I struggled off and on with it for the past two decades. The biggest thing was "pray, and God will give you His 'Grace', and your problems will not matter as much". Yet if that is true, you would expect some sort of feeling from God when you pray. Yet there is none, and then, they tell you "faith, not feelings". To me, this basically meant "imagine God comforting you". Some teachers would even say "if you're lonely, imagine God putting His arms around you".
The full post I wrote for this turned out to be long, so I decided I might as well put it in my own blog instead.
Some of these objections, the answer goes like God was showing us in the Old Testament what we deserved, but now, after sending Jesus to pay for us, men receive mercy. God saw it better to do it this way, because then we would appreciate mercy more.
The fig tree thing was to make an illustration.
The "contradictions" are because only God has the wisdom to know when it's right to war, kill, etc. So He tells us basically not to do it, but in some cases in the story of Israel, authorized it. Unfortunately, many Christians tried to emulate this, but I think in the New Testament, there was no longer any divine physical nation, so God was no longer commanding war and such. (He never did command "rape"; men "took" wives back then, including in war, and God was not yet changing the old customs with all the other stuff that was going on).
But then, I and others try to come up with these explanations and rationalizations, and no one's buying it (unless they are already open to the Bible). So I don't know.
Even though a lot of these portrayals of God are presented in the Bible, yet God still ultimately says "To whom shall you liken me?" (Isa 40:18, 40:25, 46:5), so what has occurred to me, is that all of these pictures you and all the skeptics are ripping are still imperfect and unclear. It was the best that could be done for something to be both communicated and received by fallible men, who naturally cannot perceive any reality beyond the physical universe he is apart of. ("No man has seen the Father...")
So I give up trying to refute any of that stuff. In the blog, I explain why I think all of this uncertainty in revelation occurs.
On the other hand, all of these flaws can be pointed out, but that presupposes that we are capable of determining what God really is by our own values. God shouldn't be this; he should be that. But then that's not a "better God"; that's just the wants and wishes of someone just as fallible as the much scoffed at men who wrote the Bible.
Where did you get all of this stuff from? What angels killed each other off? Angels are not even portrayed as mortal.We weren't even created because 'god loved us, or even for a good reason, according to the bible... we were created because his angels, who were his previous yes-men worshippers, realized he sucked and killed each other off until there weren't enough left to praise him anymore; the only reason humans were made is he was running low on slaves, and he made sure we weren't powerful enough to be a threat unlike the last attempt.
Most interpreters of the Bible say that we were created for Him to love, hence made differently than the angels.