No Christians by ProxyNo Christians by Proxy

No Christians by Proxy

Kaitlin Packer's faith is more than a check-box or the roof she was raised under. Rather, faith is the reality of the soul. 

Kaitlin Packer
2 minute read
Like Convivium? , our free weekly email newsletter.

“So, you grew up in a Christian home,” she says, fingering the rim of her Starbucks cup. It feels like an accusation.

“Sort of,” I say. “My parents became Christians right before I was born.” 

This is always my response. It’s my way of validating that I wasn’t coerced, manipulated or brainwashed into a life of faith. 

Unless I’m the stupid one? 

I wonder this sometimes. Maybe I’m crazy to believe this old, old story. Maybe the world is one-dimensional. Maybe life really is all about adrenaline highs, sex and entertainment. Or even romance, family and friends.

And what’s the point then?

I know a few hundred kids who grew up in Christian homes. I know fewer who walk with Christ. 

But my mind always finds its way back to the age-old rhetorical question. To Pilate staring into the eyes of Christ and asking, “What is truth?” 

And my heart finds its way back to another age-old rhetorical question. To Jesus looking ‘round his group of disciples and asking, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

I talk her ear off for five minutes about how it just sank in that the soul is the most essential part of us. Not gender. Not a six-pack. Not our name. Not our good deeds. Our soul. 

I know a few hundred kids who grew up in Christian homes. But I don’t know anyone who’s a Christian because of that. Christianity is not the box you check on a form. It’s the reality of the soul.

No one’s soul is washed in redemptive joy because their parents read them the Bible at dinner. 

There are no Christians by proxy. Joy is a joke to those who have never experienced it. Forgiveness is a myth to those who have never received it. And love is an imitation to those who have never known Him. 

I come downstairs in the early hours of the morning to my mom with her eyes closed, whispering prayers. But it’s only a fond flashback to my childhood if Christ is not Ruler of my soul. 

I am not a Christian by proxy. I am a Christian because Christ took over my most essential self. He puts my sleepless nights to rest. He gives me hope to wake up.

I can’t pretend self is my bio on Instagram.

And I can’t stare into the face of Jesus and wonder what truth is.

I’m a Christian. 

You'll also enjoy...

Universal Lessons From the Holocaust

Universal Lessons From the Holocaust

Learn about the Ottawa Holocaust Survivors’ Testimonies Project, which features interviews of ten local survivors. The survivors’ experiences include ghettos in Hungary, Nazi slave labour camps in Germany and death camps in Poland, hiding in non-Jewish homes in Holland and France and in a dugout in Ukraine, and surviving as refugees in Romania and Shanghai.

Maggie's Pancakes

Maggie's Pancakes

"On any given Sunday, you can walk into the kitchen of our church and see an enthusiastic red-head running a team of pancake flipping, toast buttering volunteers with more efficiency than an experienced army general could ever hope to attain. Well, you could. But I suppose that's getting ahead of myself."

Join Convivium

Convivium means living together. Unlike many digital magazines, we haven’t put up a digital paywall. We want to keep the conversation regarding faith in our common and public life as open as possible.

Get a weekly wrap up of the latest articles delivered right to your inbox.