In the New Testament, the Pharisees represent institutional religion. And Jesus was their antitheses. Followers of Jesus eventually turned the movement he started into an institutional religion much like the one he was against.
But those who seek God outside religious institutions, are still able to find him. And he is quite different from the God preached about in most churches.
The “Body of Christ”, as it is called in the bible, is not everyone who goes to Church or everyone who says the “sinner’s prayer”, it’s anyone who knows the kind of love Jesus represented.
God doesn’t fit in the box religion tends to put him in. God is more mysterious. But he’s not far away. God is available to all, through surrender. We must put away the false self and open ourselves to mystery.
More about this in Living With Confidence: From Fear to Love