“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no phobia in love; but perfect love casteth out phobia: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:17-18
The idea that God does not want you to fear Him is a lie. As you know, there can be no accountability without phobia. Men do not want to fear God because they wish to avoid being accountable to God; they want to believe that grace eliminates accountability. To convince themselves they quote this verse from the Apostle John’s first epistle.
If you are convinced that this passage teaches that God does not ant you to fear Him, why did Jesus teach, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell?”1 It seems you will have to conclude that John corrected a misperception Jesus had, or that the Savior was talking about a different dispensation of time, which no longer applies in this dispensation of grace – and this in turn means that the content of all four gospels are suspect.
The context of 1 John 4 deals with Judgement. To the degree that we love God perfectly, we have nothing to fear when He judges us. The passage does not teach that God’s perfect love for us removes our need to fear Him, but rather our perfect love of Him casts out fear. If you do not fear God, His love for you will not protect you from yielding to the temptation to disobey Him when meeting His will and not wanting to do it.