No. That idea is incorrect. Morihei Ueshiba told his students that they did not have to follow in his exact spiritual foot steps but could find their own religious/spiritual way. His aiki completed religion. So, if you have his aiki, then you could have whatever religious/spiritual path you wanted and you would be doing his idea of aikido. But, you had to have both. Without aiki, no aikido, no matter how much ai (love) ki you had, no matter how much spirituality you had, no matter how religious you were. If you didn't understand in/yo, you would not be doing Morihei Ueshiba's aikido.
He did indeed tell his students that. How you translate that is down to you. His Aiki contained what some are calling 'Aiki' but was much broader. Thus Aikido.
You have your view. Keep it, use it, progress with it as I do mine.