Maybe it sounds a little foolish to deliver a lesson defending the Christian religion, since it needs no defense. But it has always been, an easy target for ridicule. Stand up for spiritual ideas and you will be called a bigot.
To make matters worse, so-called Christians have adopted similar language with statements like, "I don't want religion, I want a relationship." These people should know that God has given us His true religion. When people say, "I believe in God, but I don't want any of that religion", they mean they don't want anything that requires commitment or nothing that ties them down.
Not all religion is right. Religion is mentioned in the Bible in both positive and negative terms. The Apostle Paul praised the Athenians as being "very religious" (Acts 17:22). He then showed them their religious error and pointed them unto true religion. The term can refer to a variety of beliefs, and each has its own practices. The Apostle Paul, referring to his past, said he lived according to the "strictest sect of our religion" (Acts 26:5; “Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.”
The problem may be that the present age is full of self-made religion. Self-made religion serves the function of making people feel spiritual and good. It also permits them to [insteadof God] determine the boundaries or parameters by which they live. The consequences of self-made religion are all about us. It is why America can be religious as it sinks ever deeper into a moral decay. In self-made religion, man becomes the focus, rather than God. When man starts making religion to appease the conscience, without regard for the will of God, the result is devastating.