The actor playing the title character in Amazon prime's most popular TV show has taken to YouTube to respond to Christians who have complained about the nature of his character.
Alan Ritchson, who plays U.S. Army Military Police Major Jack Reacher in the thriller series, has also hosted his own YouTube channel since 2022, called InstaChurch, on which he has discussed various aspects of Christian faith.
In a video entitled 'Some say I can’t be a Christian and play Reacher…', Ritchson claimed it was "laughable" for Christians to expect believing actors to only play "saintly" characters, when God, in scripture, tells stories that feature all kinds of people to reveal himself.
"I love playing a character who creates a kind of moral ambiguity that we should struggle against as we consider whether or not what he's doing is good all the time or morally right. I think that kind of thing is fun and fascinating.
"But it's funny to me how a lot of people criticise me, Christians especially, as if the only TV that should exist is seeing people silently folding their hands and in the pew of a church, I mean, what kind of stories are we supposed to tell?"
"If you look at scripture, what do you find? You see 1000 years of an infinitely Holy, Holy God holding tension with human beings as he tells the story of who he is, reveals who he is through an imperfect people... through less than morally ambiguous characters through pure evil sometimes."
Ritchson has called objections to his work on the series as a "distraction" from the real question of Christian faith, which he describes in the video as the question of whether or not one chooses to serve the God who created all things out of nothing.
After references to the first two verses in the Bible, Ritchson concludes the video with that question:
Would you rather be the king and the God of the emptiness in the wild in the waste? Would you rather participate? Under one who is the infinite, holy, good creator of all?
"I hope if you haven't confronted that question yet, that this conversation helps bring you into it sooner."