Christian apologetics and discernment are very serious things. It is very easy to incorporate the ways of the world into method and focus in this. When this happens then attacks on professing Christians come from an impure motive. This then causes the ones making the accusations to use slander, speaking evil against their target falsely. They revile the Christian, persecuting him and his ministry using innuendo. They have no real evidence that their accusations are true. Guilt by association is their bludgeon and their usage is meant to deceive many into believing their false report. How are we to balance this? We must continue to stand firm and, using the discernment given to us by God, expose false shepherds. It must begin with godliness.
Envies, — are the envies or pains felt and malignity conceived at the sight of excellence or happiness. It is a synonym of “malice.” I have often wondered why some people always attack excellent Bible teachers and scholars as they attempt to discredit them or whatever. However, as these men of God become more and more firm in their adherence to God’s truth as the solid foundation for their ministries rather than the philosophies of men or man-made religion then they will be attacked, but there will be no grounds for attack in how they handle God’s Word nor in how they preach and teach it. No, the attacks will be focused on their humanity instead with the hope of discrediting them on that basis. This is why it is critical for us to have Christ as our firm foundation instead of any man.
Evil speaking, — describes the backbiting, slanderous attacks on a Christian meant as defamation. This is attack from the motive of discredit, not the fruit of real Christian discernment. What is the difference? The difference is that real Christian discernment is based on the comparison of what one teaches or says with what God’s Word says. On the other hand, this is based on innuendo, guilt by association, and the illogical definition of terms and will always have as its motive the discredit of the target Christian.