From pages 350-351 of Clinical Theology, a Theological And Psychiatric Basis to Clinical Pastoral Care (Volume 1), ht JL:
“There is all the difference in the world between the word ‘must’ as an ethical obligation which can be fulfilled by an external act of mere attendance, and as an ontological statement, affirming that this is the nature of things, or in this way the Eternal God has covenanted His gifts to man. If churchgoing becomes a duty to be performed in order to stand right with the parson and his religious picture of God (certainly determined by the depressive dynamics of the natural man) then the centre of gravity is displaced from the Gospel of God. It now lies between the unwilling man and the law which stands over him, with the religious pedagogue in the foreground, ostensibly speaking for God, who is supposed to be behind all this. Here is religion. It is not Christianity.
We go to confession in ‘order to receive not to give’, writes Luther. You go conscious of your misery and seeking help, ‘in order to have once more a joyful heart and conscience’. Confession brings joy and healing. That is the clear intention of it in St. James’s Epistle. These are exactly what the depressed person needs above all. But the whole gist of the matter in confounded if confession is made into a religious duty by anxious priests, eager to exercise their power with God and man. In New Testament terms it is not an extractive religious duty; it is a donative Christian resource. Luther says, and he has the dynamics of it perfectly straight, that ‘it is better to abstain from confession than go to it unwillingly or in order to do a good work’.
Religion is basically effort and striving. Christianity is basically rest and abiding. That is why, in the crisis of depression, religion is a menace, whereas Christianity is a marvel of therapeutic resource.” [italics his]