Can you be a Christian and play a sinful character on TV?

Alan Ritchson, the star of “Reacher,” says you certainly can, and he’s unhappy with “supposed Christians” who have a problem with him taking on a “morally ambiguous” role.

“It’s funny to me how a lot of people criticize me, supposed Christians especially, criticize me for playing Reacher. As if the only TV that should exist is seeing people silently folding their hands in the pew of a church. I mean, what kind of stories are we supposed to tell?,” Ritchson said in a YouTube video posted Jan. 7.

Alan Ritchson religion

In addressing Christians, Ritchson was speaking to his own crowd.

The 41-year-old actor identifies as Christian and shares insights about his faith on social media and in interviews.

In August, Ritchson posted a video on Instagram in which he criticized a Satanist for mocking the power of prayer.

“The point of prayer is to build a relationship with this all-powerful, all-knowing deity who desires to interfere with our lives,” he said, according to Movie Guide. “I pray all the time that God interfere with my life in a way that aligns the path that I walk with his will.”

Ritchson will appear in the upcoming faith-based film “Ordinary Angels” alongside Hilary Swank.

During an April 2023 event with the “Ordinary Angels” cast, Ritchson described religious entertainment as a form of evangelism, according to Christian Headlines.

“If that’s where the pulpit is for people who wouldn’t normally step foot in a church, then that’s still a great way to have that conversation,” he said. “It matters that these films get supported.” 

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What is ‘Reacher’ about?

“Reacher” is a very different project than “Ordinary Angels.” The Amazon Prime Video series, which is based on a book series by Lee Child, follows a retired Army major as he wanders aimlessly across the country and inevitably stumbles into trouble.

Ritchson plays the titular character, Jack Reacher, who is very tall, very buff and very willing to punch anyone who messes with him.

Within the first five minutes of the first episode of the second season, he disrupts a carjacking by ripping the gun out of the perpetrator’s hand and then bashing the guy’s head against the car until he’s unconscious on the ground.

Is Jack Reacher a good guy?

In the Jan. 7 video, Ritchson responds to concerns raised by some of the show’s Christian viewers about Jack Reacher’s character. He tries to explain why he feels comfortable playing a morally ambiguous character.

“God is completely unafraid to tell the story of who he is through less than morally ambiguous characters, through pure evil sometimes. ... I think it’s laughable when people criticize me for playing characters who aren’t saintly,” Ritchson said.

He added that “Reacher” can get people thinking and talking about faith just like religious entertainment can.

“I think we can start conversations and we can reach people through these mediums in a way that I think God enjoys,” he said.

Serinda Swan, from left, Alan Ritchson, Shaun Sipos and Maria Sten pose for a portrait to promote the television series “Reacher” on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023, in Toronto. | Arthur Mola, Invision via Associated Press

What else has Alan Ritchson been in?

In addition to “Reacher” seasons one and two, Ritchson has appeared in “Fast X,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” according to IMDB.

“Ordinary Angeles” is expected to be released on Feb. 23, 2024.