Following Jesus is what Christianity is all about. Religion is the formality and man-made rules that you choose to adhere to as a member of a Church. Being a follower of Christ does not require human regulations, it only needs faith. It seems as though too many people confuse religion and faith. Jesus' example trumps all rules created by man. If you choose to have a religion rather than a relationship, be prepared for problems.
Remember when Jesus healed the man who couldn't walk? The Pharisees were more concerned about Church rules then they were about Jesus performing a miracle. Just think about that for a moment. Jesus talks to the disabled man who couldn't walk and tells him to stand up. Knowing that this man couldn't walk, wouldn't you think that the Pharisees would be in amazement just witnessing the miracle that had just happened? No, of course, they didn't care. Their rules blinded them from accepting the miracle that they had just witnessed.
Mark 3:1-6 NASB He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. 2 They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 He *said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” 4 And He *said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
You would think that these guys would be astonished at what they had just witnessed. It would be amazing to see someone get up and walk that was disabled only moments before. Just the voice of Jesus was powerful enough to heal the man. Nope, the Pharisees completely missed what had just happened. Instead of cheering with excitement for what they had just seen, they fell back on their religion. This religion, plagued by rules and control was more interested shaming Jesus than it was praising him.
Following Jesus is easy.
Following Jesus' example is much easier than following man-made rules. You can never be good enough in man's eyes. In the eye's of God, you can be made new. It amazes me how many people continue to follow a Church doctrine that doesn't lead anyone to Christ. Making up counter-productive rules and hoops to jump through is precisely what the Pharisees were doing to Jesus. Anyone or anything keeping you from having a free and open relationship with Jesus needs to go.
The only rules that we need to follow are God's rules. If you find yourself caught between man and God, you are not in a healthy place. God does not want us working to please others in order to please him. He wants our direct focus on him. Following Jesus is simple. Grow your relationship with Jesus by praying and reading the Bible. It is that easy. You do not have to perform meaningless ceremonial tasks dictated by man. The only functions that we should follow were demonstrated to us by Jesus.
Jesus gave us communion to remember his sacrifice. He showed us baptism so that we could be made clean. He even humbled himself by washing his disciple's feet to show humility and service to others. Following Jesus is as easy as being Christ-like and emulating his example.