Two rising high school seniors I know recently went to explore a local Catholic university. In economic times like these, no one wants to lose the fish nibbling at his line. Without knowing anything of the young ladies' religious persuasions, the school representative dutifully mentioned that a semester of religion was required at the institution. But he was quick to add that the students could fulfill that requirement with any kind of religious study-Catholic, Buddhism, or others.
Neither of the visitors was particularly religious, but one of them told me later that she was turned off by the visit: "If you're going to be a Catholic school, be a Catholic school."
This university happened to be Catholic, but being bendable as Gumby is not the monopoly of any particular faith and its institutions. It is a miscalculation for us to think we make ourselves more appealing to others when we bend our faith to the winds or when we are embarrassed by our faith. Just think of when you were saved. Was it by God using someone weak or someone firm in what he had to say about the gospel?
Interestingly (to me, at least), today I happened to reread an email to my editor in which I had said, "Who do you want me to send the recordings to?" I knew the proper pronoun there was "whom" and not "who," but I decided it was no big deal to "bend" the grammar here because "who" felt better than "whom" in this case. But Christianity is not like English grammar; in matters of faith, to bend to fashion is to deny the faith.
To bend is also to render ourselves utterly useless to kingdom advance:
"Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear" (Luke 14:34-35).