All it takes to be a good person is to follow the laws of the land
Pick a denomination. Any denomination. What is its foundational doctrine based on? (Doctrine defined as a standard of believing.) It's based on a person's or a group's interpretation of what they think the Bible says. This is religion! Any idiot can have an opinion on what they think they read. Man made forms of worship. As defined in Dr. E.W. Bullinger's "A Critical Lexicon And Concordance To The English And Greek New Testament"...
Religion (threskeia in the Greek) religious observance, the out-ward ceremonial service of religion, the external form, (as opposed to eusebeia, practical piety rightly directed; theosebeia the worship of God; eulabeia the devoutness arising from godly fear)
Religion is defined as "out-ward", where others can see it. Whatever "it" is. Concerning any god or gods. And is opposed to godliness! (eusebeia translates "godliness", theosebeia translates "godliness" and eulabeia translates "devout".) Jesus warned us of this religious attitude in Matthew 6:5
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
That... my friend is religion in practical application. An outward showing to everyone around you that you're doing what you're told by your religion. "False religion" outside of Christianity is easy for most Christians to see but I'm here to tell you there is plenty of religion in Christianity too! It's always people telling you what they think God's Word says. What you should believe and how you should act. Religion always leads one to wrong doctrine. Which leads one down the wrong paths of life.
How 'bout I tell ya a little secret? That's really no secret at all! God's Word interprets itself. That's right, it does. And blows through the fog that envelops people's minds when believed. When allowed to speak for itself it has the potential to answer questions you have about life. And your place in it. With all the religion that's been thrown at us all since birth it is a challenge to get to the truth in a proper understanding of God's rightly divided Word. But it is possible. And profitable!
II Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
(Side note: When you don't rightly divide God's word it is wrongly divided and is in fact what religion is in the "Christian" realm.)
II Timothy 3:16, 17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, *for (*= should be "which is") instruction in righteousness:
*That (*= purpose) the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
This is what disciples crave. God's Word. Rightly divided. Knowing it is profitable for doctrine (right believing), for reproof (to show where one's gotten off doctrine) and for correction (instruction on how to get back to doctrine) which is instruction in righteousness. Instruction in how to live this life the right way according to God. That we may be perfected! Becoming mature people of the true God, equipped throughly (not thoroughly, on the outside but throughly, on the inside) able to do good in this world! This pleases God. How do I know? The Bible tells me so! God's Word rightly divided is God's Will.
III John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth
God's Word is truth. It's a beautiful thing in God's eyes to see His children understanding and living by the truth He's given us. Which is His Word when it's allowed to speak for itself.
That word "religion?" (threskeia?) It's only used 5 times in the New Testament. There is no corresponding Hebrew word in the Old Testament. God's people of that time had a word for it though. The Hebrews (God's chosen people through Abraham) called it idolatry. You could think of idolatry as worshipping anything in the physical or spiritual realm as a "god." It is religion. It is nothing more than superstition. Religion/superstition is any path or path(s) that leads God's people to wrong doctrine. It is contrary to God's Will.
Religion can always be identified by the litmus test of God's Word
James 1:26, 27
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
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.
Both words "religion" are the word threskeia. The word "religious" is a form of the same word. The gist of these 2 verses could be understood today as, "If you run across someone that seems to have a godly appearance, not controlling his mouth deceives hisself, the superstitious doctrine he believes is profitless. A pure outward showing in God's presence is to take action in living love and reject the doctrines of the world."
If someone takes their religion (superstition) seriously it will take up a lot of their life. And God's Word just showed us that an outward showing for the sake of an outward showing is vain, profitless. Which means people who are convinced in religion are not living... or living up... to the full potential available. It is God's Word rightly divided, correctly understood by its own interpretation that brings people to experience at the very least an enjoyable life knowing God. It is the truth of God's Word which is the sustenance for a healthy spiritual life. Which gives you the strength to endure this world.
Religion promotes ignorance and fear.
Godliness promotes understanding and genuine believing.
Religion is used by the god of this world to keep people unaware of the spiritual hierarchy. Godliness makes one aware of the spiritual kingdom and one's place in it.
Religion controls with fear and causes worry. Godliness makes one free and initiates joy.
Religion is pushy. Godliness is inviting.
Bullinger's definition of "godliness."
Godliness, eusebeia. [The opposite of religion. Eusebeia relates to real, true, vital, and spiritual relation with God: while religion relates to the outward acts of religious observances or ceremonies, which can be performed by the flesh. Our English word "religion" was never used in the sense of true godliness. it always meant the outward forms of worship. ...]
Religion definition; Webster The God Of This World In God We Trust
A Christian Believer's Hope The Spiritual Competition: Attack!
Gallup Poll On Religion Separation Of Church And State Sink, Swim Or Stand Up
*= added by the author for clarification