However you say it, love is a universal concept. The elder's take? God loves everyone and wants everyone to love. Sounds nice, right? Well, before you start swooning, remember that the elder doesn't expect Christians to love anyone outside the Christian community. Considering that churches in the first century were super small, the circle of love just got way tighter.
Questions About Love
Is "God is love" a good way to describe God? What about God makes him loving? Are there things that make him a little bit unloving, too?
How would loving each other be important for a small, oppressed religious group?
Why would God only want us to love the people in our little circle?
Do Christians take the elder's writings about love a different way today? Are these verses about romantic love? Has love become more universally required?