Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
In our current culture it is highly frowned upon to speak evil of anyone in public. Rarely do we ever see anyone do it, even if there is a ‘good call for it’. Though, to be honest, people often speak evil of a person’s view or position very often these days and while not directly calling out the person holding this position they do speak of it in such a way as to show the foolishness of both the view in question and the person holding it.
Edwards and every other Christian is commanded to pursue peace with all men (Heb. 12:14, Rom. 12:18). The world, Jesus said, should know us by our love (John 13:35). Therefore we should strive to be people who love strongly and intensely. But is there ever a time when we must speak evil of someone in love? Yes. What constitutes a good reason(s)? When God is dishonored and people are hurt by the actions/words of another.
Paul did this in 2 Tim. 2:17, and one thing I want to get across real clear today is that even when Paul did this, he did it in love. Paul called out specific people in his letters, asking them to be delivered over to Satan, so that they may be saved in the end (1 Cor. 5:5). His aim was not merely embarrassment or shame, it was repentance. We are rebuked here. How often do we Christians talk, gossip, blog, etc. about other people (who may be really wrong) merely for the sake of joining in the gossip? Or merely for the sake of shaming and embarrassing a person(s)?
This is not to be so. Anytime we open our mouths, we must honor God, and build up those who hear us (Eph 4:29-32). The time will come in 2014 when you must speak about another person, will you do it in love? Will you speak of their evil in an evil way? Or will you speak of their evil, aiming at their repentance?