To those who believe, no answer is needed. For those who do not, no answer is good enough.
I am not sure who said those words but it sums up the rift between believers and non-believers very well. And not just Christianity, but any belief system out there really. But more so for Christianity because it will have people doing things that “rational” people would not. Not saying that Christians are crazy (though there are a few loose nuts out there), they are just living a radical life following a God that says to do things differently than “normal”.
Non-believers roll their eyes when Christians say they don't have religion, they have faith. This means they do not live under rules and regulations on how to “act” right, they have a relationship with a living being that directs, nudges and pushes them to right paths. Christians are not sheeple, just mindlessly following. People of faith don't mindlessly follow – trust me, there are many out there that question the situations they are in just as much as non-believers. They just have faith, that is trust, that God has the game plan.
Now I am not saying that there isn't religion in churches or religion type activities in churches, there are. But that is really no different than any other place where people gather and follow some sort of routine or schedule. Your job, for instance, has routines and schedules to them so, in essence, they have religious activities to it. Wrap your head around that one. And church, God's church, isn't a building its people. Living, breathing people. If the church building burned to the ground, the church would still be there. Does that mean you don't need to go to the building to worship God?
Yes and No.
No because it is just a building and you can worship God anywhere. Yes because while you don't need the building, you do need the people. It is the people who will encourage you and build you up. Don't get me wrong, it is also the people who will sometimes disappoint and hurt you but they are human and that happens sometimes. Remember God does show his love to us through other people but humans do the disappointment and hurting on their own without any added help.
So what is the difference between religion and faith?
There is a simple way to see it in action.
When a person says they are a Christian but are really following religion, when bad times happen they will be looking at themselves and wondering what they did wrong. They scramble trying to “fix” themselves and their behaviors to “win” favor.
When a person says they are a Christian and following in relationship, when bad times happen they will be looking up and asking God to help them through it and believing that everything is going according to the game plan. It's not that they have more information, they just trust the Coach.