When religion serves as a road to connecting with the infinite creator, it serves us well. When religious identity and its finite conception of the creator becomes the object of veneration, then religion becomes a dead end, and religious identity a form of idolatry. Idolatry being the worshiping of anything less than the infinite creator manifest in finite forms. So beware the idolatry of faith, and seek instead the infinite creator.
Mystics of every religion have more in common with one another than with the average adherents of their faith. When we sit in meditation or centering prayer, we sit in the same infinite field of awareness that is the one infinite creator. By returning to that silence time after time, we attune with the infinite field of awareness, and thus purify our hearts and minds.
When religion encourages a silent mind and open heart, one inevitably comes to express the universal humanistic values of the religion’s founder. These values become inverted when religious mythology encounters one with a raucous mind possessed of fixed ideals and a closed heart. Such a one has little interest in the infinite creator, and is more concerned with protecting, promoting, and expanding tribal identity as defined by a set of religious dogmas. In this way religion becomes an idol, and a dead end for spiritual aspirants.