This term is most common for its legal ramifications. In simple terms, a conviction is a successful prosecution in a court of law. When you are convicted, the court has decided you are indeed guilty for the crime you’ve been accused of committing.
In spiritual terms, “conviction” carries much of the same meaning. This is used to describe an innate sense of guilt or culpability. Both non-believers, and former believers, can endure these feelings of guilt or negativity when reminded of their current spiritual state.
Many seemingly intelligent people go into irrational fits of rage when faced with anything religious, be it a message or simply a religious icon. One thing is certain, any glimpse or hint of the spiritual sends them into an outright panic. Many of these same individuals can develop what appears to be outright hysteria just from glimpsing a plaque of the Ten Commandments.
One recent example of this is the irrational and unwarranted backlash is regarding a film titled God’s Not Dead.
Note: This is not a film review and does not contain spoilers (but many of the reviews do). Likewise, it is not an endorsement for the film which none at the Scholar of Christ has viewed. It is cited exclusively because of the tone and animosity in the reviews at the IMDB website.
The reviews are perfect examples of rampant spiritual conviction.
First and foremost, the title is God’s Not Dead, which alone implies the film will be about the belief in God. This also implies it is written by those who believe in God. We can read such a title, and know with relative certainty it will be a spiritual movie related to Christianity, as the title does not use Allah, Vishnu, or Buddha. We do not assume it is a film about terrorists, natural disasters, secret agents, fraternity exploits, ghosts, vampires, or the drama surrounding lost loves. Evidently, the title said something altogether different for many of those viewers.
The irate reviews are typical, citing everything from, “they’re using a straw man argument,” to “it’s religious propaganda!” It is no surprise at all because desperate people (who’ve taken Debate 101) usually try to throw around miscellaneous logical fallacy accusations to the point that any opposition is unable to reply in any way. This is, in essence, a “cheating” technique used to silence opposition.
This is to be expected when people face a “God” who is not the modern, celebrity version. Those in the secular world today want God to be a politically correct conformist. Religion is a hobby, not practiced for any other reason than to make one feel good about oneself. They don’t want to acknowledge any faith that might have commandments or guidelines. Many people today don’t even like to read God’s word, instead they envision a god who bends and bows to their arbitrary whims.
Christians have been portrayed as everything from stupid, to downright evil, for decades, and yet when a movie emerges that reverses the roles, many go ballistic for no other reason than the production has broken the status quo. They were convicted by watching the film, and their often-bizarre reaction is proof. In most of the reviews, the usual movie qualities aren’t reviewed at all. Not the acting, writing, script, effects, setting, or production, it was simply the message that went against the grain of what is typical.