Relationships are to be nourished and cultivated in all healthy ways possible, but please do not forget that every developing relationship goes through a period of definition. Theology is developed in relationship and becomes more clearly defined as people begin to trust - and love - one another. While we live in an age when boundaries of any kind are considered by many to be bad, we forget that they are vitally - literally - necessary - to every living thing. Without our skin, we would have no way to exist - there would be nothing to hold us together. Theology acts as a skin, if you will, for the church and protects us from believing things about God that simply aren't true in classical Christianity. For example, a God who does not believe in medical care is a God who does not care about the life and health and the world that God's children inhabit. It is very important to have a theological position that recognizes the God who suffers with us and is not aloof and unconcerned about all of creation. Theology and relationships need not be in conflict with one another. The church gets into a world of trouble when these two understanding are allowed to be separeted. Have binaries ever worked?
I think you are correct that Jesus would say something along those lines, but I'm pretty sure he's add "...love yourself...," and he would be unlikely to say "... nothing else matters." Your attributed words, combined with mine, simply are the Summary of the Law, upon which hang all the Law and the Prophets -- but Jesus taught of a good deal more than just that. More likely, I think, he would say that everything else matters in that context -- that nothing matters other than in the context of love -- of God, other, and self.
And I don't think Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom of God is near when we love; I think he said the Kingdom of God is near -- so we'd do well to love. To suggest that the kingdom of God is brought near by human love, whether love of God, other, or of self, then Man controls God and that just won't do. The Kingdom of God is brought near by God, and the human response to that fact is, or ought to be, to love. Jesus proclaimed that the Kingdom is near, and he did so by loving; so also, by loving, we proclaim the nearness of the Kingdom. But we do not cause it to come near -- it's going to do that anyway.
The distinction is more important than it might sound, because it's the difference between religion and magic. Aggressive atheism protests bitterly against Christianity (and other religions, I suppose), but the second of the two most telling criticisms is against superstitious magical Spaghetti-Monster, Invisible-Friend-in-the-Sky "theology." That is, aggressive atheism protests not religion, but magic, but Christianity is not magic, but religion.
For your reading pleasure:
Dcn Scott Elliott
Diocese of Chicago
To suggest that the kingdom of God is brought near by human love, whether love of God, other, or of self, then Man controls God and that just won't do.
That assumes that our love of God, other, and self is ever possible outside of the opportunity of God's grace, which I'd argue is false. To suggest we could control God would be heresy of the most obvious kind. But that doesn't mean God cannot use us as vehicles for the in-coming of the Kingdom, which is what I think the other commentators are suggesting.
This is part of the point I was trying to make. By not having sound doctrine and theology, we cannot know the "why" of our works. The church does not exist merely to be a social work or social transformation agency. We love others, feed the poor, clothe the naked, etc, because of the overflow of love in our hearts that is directed at our Savior in gratitude for His work of salvation. It is a flowing outward of the reality that happened inward. It is not by human efforts alone.
Actually, Mr. Eliott, my statement is not that original in concept. Bishop Agustine of Hippo stated it slightly differently;"Love God and do as you please.' What the good bishop insinuated by that, I think, is that if you love God what you please to do is to please God.
My addition of loving people as well as God only fulfills the whole law. Also, I am aware that if you do not love yourself, you'll have a difficult time loving others including God. Bernard of Clairvaux alluded to this in his Steps of Humility, I think.
A very good article that touches upon your concerns can be found here: http://upwardandonward.com/wordpress/love-god-and-do-as-you-please/
Finally, if God were somehow controlled by our love, what we would be expressing would not be love . . . it would be manipulation. When we gather in his name, he, not me, promised to be in the midst of us. Because of that promise, and not because of our manipulations, the Kingdom would be there also, if Jamie Buckingham's deffinition of kingdom is correct. It is not about manipulation at all but only concerns relationships, and that my friend is the focus of all the Law and the Prophets - our relationship to God, to others and to ourselves.