There is a huge difference between religion and faith. Religion can perhaps be described as the empty observance of ritual and practice. Staid traditions that crept into practice for which we have forgotten the underlying reasons, or times when we go through the motions all fall into this category. Religion is often defined by doing, and the outward things. So we can subscribe to a religion but at the end of the day it is something that leaves us unchanged.
Faith though I think is all about being and the inward things. If you have faith, the inward things – that relationship with God in that place of being – can’t help but affect your doing. But for the doing to bear fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, it has to come from that place of being.
No wonder R.E.M. sang “Losing my Religion”, perhaps one of the saddest songs I have ever heard; and even the video that accompanies the song presents religious images one after another that capture that sadness.
So let’s lose our religion but find our faith.