In warfare, there is a modern term often heardcollateral damage. My Websters New (though quite old) Collegiate Dictionary defines collateral as indirect or parallel (along with some other concepts). In warfare, collateral damage concerns innocent [civilian] people who suffer fatal or destructive wounds as a result of the actions of military forces. It is the common way to refer to civilians who are killed or maimed as the result of a military confrontation.
A man, woman, or child who dies or is maimed as a result of collateral damage is just as dead, suffers just as much pain, or causes just as much grief to his/her family as the man/woman in the military who dies or is maimed in the same hostile action. Dead is dead. Maimed is maimed. Pain is pain. Grief is grief. The end result: the grieving survivors have zero confidence in the nation whose personnel caused the collateral damage.
Christians need to give great care to avoid collateral damage. At times Christians become so emotional about their personal cause that they ignore the effect of their actions on the souls and spirits of others. How awful it would be to be surrounded in Judgment by a great cloud of witnesses who were the collateral damage of our words and deeds! How wonderful it would be in Judgment to be surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who came to or remained in Christ because our words and deeds prevented collateral damage!
With God, there is no collateral damage. His people are committed to a no collateral damage policy. Consider Matthew 5:43-48. Godless people know how to be nice to those who are nice to them. Godly people know how to be nice to enemies.
Christian Jews had a lot to tolerate in Christian gentiles, and vice versa. The uncleanness, food (sacrifices), and kept days to which Paul referred involved spiritual acts. Those two sets of Christians reached totally different conclusions about those acts. Paul did not say, Decide a winner, decide a loser, and become identical. He said that Gods kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, not winners and losers.
As we commit to a policy of no collateral damage, lets invest as much in the salvation of others as God did. May our actions and words never negate Jesus death in their lives!
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell