There is so much here, and so much to think about - but we are in your debt for sharing these thoughts with us.
In 1 John 4:19 we read:
Quote:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
As the Apostle tells us a few verses before:
Quote:4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
This seems pretty clear about God and love. Of course there is the usual antimony between God being unknowable and our attribution of emotions to Him - but that is what the Apostle says - 'God is of love' - a love that led to Calvary for our sake. It gets no better than that for sinful mankind: Grace freely given to those who will receive it. This would seem to suggest that what you say about the supremacy of love is spot on.
We can discuss who is meant to be included in this love, but is it wrong to suggest that all who believe in Him, confess His name, receive His sacraments, show their salvation through faith and works, and who call on Him? As I suggested earlier, this is not universalism or indifferentism; it requires Orthodox belief and worship, and it does not reject doctrine or dogma.
I don't see how we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps - that, surely, is why we needed the Incarnation, Calvary and the Resurrection? It is why we need a generous Orthodoxy too. It does no one any favours to pretend that all that is needful for salvation is to be good; as St. Paul told the jailer, it was necessary to believe in Him. Once we believe in Him and repent, we need guidance and the sacraments, and that is what I have found in the BOC.
I hope this helps us along the Way.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)