I woke up half asleep to go make coffee. It’s a 'life was imple' and I get a knock on my small door. Who goes to someone else’s house this early in the morning? My protector of the boyfriend goes to open the door. Because let’s be honest, merely a crazy person would be up this early.

“Hi, would you go to church? Most importantly are you aware where you are going if you die?”

You’ve reached be freaking kidding me, I think. My boyfriend is no longer permitted to answer the door. How many times have you had this happen? How times have you ever heard a man yelling at you at the top of his lungs in the name of Jesus? I’m guessing it’s been a few times.

I grew up in the church, and that i consider myself a Christian. But, I’m going to let you in on a secret. These people that identify as Christians usually ruin it for everybody else. They give us a poor reputation like we are simple minded, can’t think for ourselves, and are extremely judgmental. With some people I've dealt with, I’d say they are correct. However this isn’t how it's supposed to be, this is not a good representation of Jesus, the bible, or anything it stands for.

I grew up going to church, saying my prayers before bed, and asking for forgiveness for my sins. Whenever you grow up in a certain religion, it’s whatever you know and that is your normal. However when we move out of the house we get to decide if we keep those beliefs. From a young age, I believed in Jesus and even after moving out I still believed in him. But it's hard to maintain your faith when you grow up and also have the freedom to choose your own beliefs. Here are some reasons some people struggle once they grow up with religion.

You need to figure out the difference between Faith and rules.

As a Christian, it’s clear in the Bible that God wants you to have a relationship with him and doesn’t condemn for things that you have done wrong in the past. However, its not all person interprets it by doing this. Organizations can ruin exactly what the truth is, and make everyone seem like you have to follow a certain algorithm. Your whole life, things are shoved in your face. Ideas like don’t have sex until you're married, dress modestly, and check out not to sin in general. It’s just like a check list of good and bad, and if you’re mostly doing good stuff you’re okay. Do you know how tough that's on a child? I have self-esteem issues because I don’t believe I’m adequate because I’m not perfect since i could never follow all the good rules. Never is that this anywhere in the Bible. It’s about being a better person, but God realizes that we are human and make mistakes and that he forgives us.

Sometimes you feel judged by other people.

I feel a lot of people are driven away by type of religion because they feel judged. Judged for partying, judged for having sex, judged for having a potty mouth. This is the main reason I left my conservative Christian college since i felt they always judged me. I'd walk about looking pretty on a Saturday night and I would hear someone yell “Make good choices!” You know what I wanted to yell back? “F*ck you!” They didn’t understand what I was doing, they didn’t know where I was going, yet they felt the need to tell me so. In the bible, God actually instructs his followers to not judge. He tells people who he is the only person that can judge because is the only person who knows what’s going on in everyone’s life. Should you read the bible, Jesus doesn’t hang out with a bunch of self-righteous religious people. He actually tells those self-righteous people those are the worst hypocrites he’s ever seen! Jesus hangs out with the convicts, the sinners, the outcasts, the folks that are looked down upon and also the people that were looked down upon in those days.

It feels like everyone gets married at 18.

It seems that it is normal almost expected to get married at a very young age in the church. I think the main reason for this is because they are told you’re not designed to have sex until you’re married. I believe that that is the worst idea in the world. You don’t know who you are at the age, your partner doesn’t either, and you’re probably not even financially dependent at that age. You’re setting yourself up for failure at this time. The sad reality is that many these couples get divorced. They realize they aren’t in love with the same person they were years before. From the couples I know that get wed young, only one of those couples is still married. I don’t want that. I’ve never wanted that. I wish to get married when I have my shit together.

You’re told that some sins are worse than the others.

If you grew up in the church or had conservative parents, they tried to ingrain certain ideas in your head. Like there are several sins that are worse than others. In the bible, there isn’t any mention of the a small sin or big sin. It's all the same in Jesus’ eyes. It doesn’t matter if you're stealing a cookie from the cookie jar, or making love before marriage. It’s all the same.

There are a lot of extremists.

You know those crazy preachers on sidewalks? Such as the ones that tell you you will hell? That is the worst type of “Christianity” I have ever seen in my life. They are not Christians. I repeat they are not Christians. They are simply crazy people. Much like every group has a couple of radicals that no one wants to keep company with. Jesus would never approve of someone saying or doing those things. He preached with love plus they preach hate. I’m personally sorry when you deal with one of those crazies. In no way is that helping anyone or anything. No one likes being screamed at in their face or told how to proceed, especially by someone who can’t accept each individual for their uniqueness.

Simply put, people who follow a religion or have a faith aren't perfect. They are going to mess up, but it’s still not an excuse to judge someone, ridicule someone, as well as in no way is it ever okay to inform someone they are going to hell. So I’m sorry if you have been affected in a negative way with this. I’m sorry if you had a judgmental person tell you something horrible. Because they are a terrible representation of any religion. My biggest struggles with my faith aren't with God, but with the people who call themselves his followers. So please don’t confuse a wild person and God. Children me, they are vastly different.