God showed what he wanted at the beginning, he walked with man, revealing himself sharing his Life, without religion.
What then, is religion?
... respect for what is deemed "sacred" / "divine" / from God(s), whether it be religious observance or actual deities.
Latin: religare "to bind fast" , via notion of "place an obligation on," or "bond between humans and gods." Another possible origin is religiens "careful," (opposite of negligens) ... an attempt to please higher being through one's own behaviour, confidence depends on this.
is unbelief in a God that redeems man
is the attempted replacement of the divine work by a human manufacture
is a feeble but defiant, an arrogant but hopeless, attempt to create something which man could do.
In religion man bolts and bars himself against revelation by providing a substitute, by taking away in advance the very thing which has to be given by God. It is never the truth.
The central fact of the revelation of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ, is that God descends to humankind. Never in any way, under any circumstances can we ascend to God, howsoever slightly.
There is no path leading from a little bit of religion (of whatever kind) to a little more and finally to faith. Faith shatters all religion...
Religion is from man, revelation is from God.
Revelation is given to people who believe in a God that wants to help them more than they or any man can do, and who are humble enough to rely on his intervention. Religion is the concern of people without these qualities.