You are correct in saying that these Christians are very narrow in how they read and critique others. When we make the point that it is in fact biblical to teach that we should “accept Jesus Christ,” “confess him as Lord,” and “ask him into your heart,” they jump on us and say that we neglect repentance. But the topic is that they have often misrepresented those who preach the gospel using these expressions, and even rejected these expressions that come from Scripture. Their response is a red herring. Whatever point you are trying to make, religious otaku answer with that one thing they care about, and it indicates how little they know. I grasp repentance, and most likely preach it longer, stronger, and more often than they do, but they never grasped my point.
You know how much I refer to the Bible and expound on the Bible, but often when I say something that so-called Christians do not want to accept, they would complain, “He didn’t put a Bible reference on that!” Attaching a Bible reference on something does not automatically make it right, and it exposes their ignorance if they challenge me like this on something that should be common knowledge among Christians. We cannot fit a whole systematic theology into every paragraph. Even they cannot do this with the doctrines that they are obsessed about.
The Philippian jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30-31). Where is the repentance? Paul mentioned nothing about it, or Luke did not see fit to record it. So did they both deny the necessity of repentance, or did they mention it in other places? We also teach repentance in other places, many other places.
Likewise, Paul wrote, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10). Where is the repentance? Where is the mention of sin? The atonement? Where is the Trinity? The deity of Christ? The incarnation? Nothing! He did not even mention the existence of God. Does that mean I can be saved by believing in Christ without believing in God?
But of course Paul preached repentance in many places, as I am sure that you have, and I know I have. On the other hand, have these people preached that we should “accept” Jesus Christ, as the Bible teaches, or denied it? Have they preached that we get saved by “confessing” Jesus Christ, as the Bible teaches, or denied that it is so simple? And have they preached that we should “ask Jesus into our hearts,” as the Bible teaches, or said that this is a shallow and compromised gospel?
I know the kind of people you referred to. They are proud of their emphasis on repentance, but they do not truly grasp it. They often end up partially crediting our salvation to our repentance and much seeking, demanding these things from people in a way that satisfies them, instead of trusting in the blood and the righteousness of Christ. Repentance in them is only a form of self-righteousness. In fact, many of these critics are less likely to be saved than the “ask Jesus into your heart” crowd that they hate so much, because they are much more self-righteous.
From now on, unless they mention the Trinity, sin, atonement, the deity of Christ, the inspiration of Scripture, and every conceivable biblical doctrine, and include at least one biblical reference in support of each point, in every clause that they say, you can challenge them by their own standard – that they neglect or even deny these doctrines, that they do not refer to the Bible, and thus condemn themselves.
Do you like cats? If you like cats, complain that they neglect to show how their points relate to cats. Forget what they are actually saying. The whole thing is a failure if they do not mention cats. This is how such discussions are conducted. This is not far from the kind of criticisms often leveled against me. What does it mean? It means they have nothing, and know nothing.
Of course they would want to complain about what I am saying here, but I don’t want to hear it, and don’t need to hear it, unless they meet their own standard in their response to me. They must include every biblical doctrine in every clause, with biblical references and quotations, and they must relate every point to that one doctrine that I happen to care about the most at the moment I read it. Otherwise, I will answer them in the same way that they often try to dismiss me, and we know they think it is the most biblical and intelligent answer.
“Christians” are their own worst enemies, because they are so stupid, and they are so self-righteous about it.