For decades human kind has debated the purpose, and need for religion. Based on this, our current definitions on religion is flawed.
Fundamentally religion means: to do something over and over again. This means that anything or anyone can be a religion; therefore anything starting with the premise of religion will be false. What Christ offered us on the cross was not religion, but salvation.
In religion there is the opportunity for more than one interpretation. Hence the many religions we have in the word, based on any given person’s interpretation of their sacred writings. For every scripture written there could be a religion attached to it, because one person will interpret it differently from someone else. In salvation there is no interpretations only revelation revealed by the Spirit of Christ, therefore, there is only one revelation.
Religion is simply a way for people to do their own thing with an organization to back it up. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3). “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1). Religion, much like the law for the Jews, is a cloak to keep us from the true salvation found only in Christ Jesus; a school master if you will, until the true salvation appeared.
In the Bible time we could us religion as a premise, because they were dedicated to its foundation. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this; To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). If religion did this for us today, we would be in a far better place, however, religion has failed us, because we have miss used it, and through it have turned the truth of God into a lie.
Salvation is a far better premise because it is not dependent on anyone’s interpretation. It is only dependent on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, whether you believe or not does not make salvation void, furthermore, salvation is not by works, but by faith. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Religion is thought as something you work towards while salvation is given through the faith of Jesus Christ. Therefore, religion is something you do, but salvation is something you receive through faith, and salvation can never be thought of as a crutch.
According to the Encarta Dictionary, crutch means: something that sustains or supports somebody or something that is otherwise liable to collapse, fail, or falter. By this definition we should not look at religion or salvation as a crutch, but the Lord himself. This is exactly what He is asking us to do: to lean and depend completely on Him, in other words; to be supported by Him. “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment” (Matthew 6:25)? Certainly without Christ we will collapse, fail, and falter. Therefore I take great pride in saying that Christ is my crutch.