Thursday, August 01, 2013

Jonathan Edwards on Gossip

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), in Charity and Its Fruits, taught against the sin of censoriousness and connected it with gossip.
If to think evil be so much to be condemned, surely they are still more to be condemned who not only allow themselves in thinking, but also in speaking evil of others, and backbiting them with their tongues. Their evil-speaking that is against neighbours behind their backs does very much consist in censuring them, or in the expression of uncharitable thoughts and judgments of their persona and behaviour.1

1Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits: Christian Love As Manifested in the Heart and Life (Carlisle: Banner of Truth Trust, 2005), 216-217. Edwards’ teaching on judgmentalism is expanded and applied in Ken Sande, “Judging Others: The Danger of Playing God,” Journal of Biblical Counseling 21, no. 1 (Fall 2002): 12-22. See also the very helpful book by Dave Swavely, Who Are You to Judge: The Dangers of Judging and Legalism (Phillipsburg: P & R Press, 2005).