Religion is not God,
Religion is not theology
Religion is not active.
It is not even alive. It is a ghost, an apparition made with smoke and mirrors. It is an empty shell; a stick man propped up and held together with duct tape. Religion is not made by God, it is made by man.
Religion is creeds memorized and recited.
Religion is doctrine,
Religion is the organized thoughts about god.
it is the practices made on a regular basis that give us an equation for living good moral lives that please the one who made us.
Religion is not bad.
Religion is not necessarily wrong,
It is not inherently evil. Religion is what helps us understand things gives us ways to remember what we have learned helps us to walk with God.
What is bad, and wrong and most assuredly evil is when religion, which is a reflection of God and theology, becomes the focus. Doctrine becomes more important that theology, reciting and memorizing creeds becomes more important then understanding them. Religious activities take priority over spending time with God. Suddenly religion which is the organizing God to help us understand him takes our focus.
It is like the moon, the light is wonderful. It brightens the night and is the subject of many songs and stories. In poetry the moon is often symbolic of mystery and the sun is often symbolic of reason. The moon reflects the light of the sun but some will get so caught up in the light of the moon that they forget that it is the sun that gave it light. Religion reflects the light of our relationship. It helps us get through those dark times when we can not feel God. But sometimes just the moon’s orbit strays into the path of the sun and blocks the light, Religion can get in to way of our relationship with God.
It eclipses it and becomes our focus. In the church today we must find the place where religion dies, for to a great extent it has eclipsed the relationship we once had with God.