'Preacher' TV show earns backlash from Christian leaders

The new television show "Preacher" has earned backlash from Christian leaders over its depiction of religion in a violent light.

(YouTube/AMC)A screengrab from the official trailer for AMC television show "Preacher."

When "Preacher" aired on Lightbox, its audience witnessed a show that depicts God as a villain and preacher Justin Custer, portrayed by Dominic Cooper, as a chain-smoker who aims to trump God on his heavenly throne. After watching the show's trailer, Baptist pastor Brian Winslade said the story is a "silly counterfeit" of the true version of Christianity and spirituality, the Sunday Star Times relays.

However, Pastor Winslade also has some good words for "Preacher." He said the controversial TV show presents no threat to either the Christian faith of the church because it could prompt people to take a step forward in discovering true Christianity.

On the other hand, the Catholic Bishop of Hamilton, Stephen Lowe, expressed sadness over the use of gratuitous violence for common entertainment.

"At times in history, distorted brands of Christianity have been violent, as opposed to the true Christian message of mercy and love," said Lowe. "It's ironic that the more our society forgets that message, the more it seeks violent entertainment that increases violence in the community," he continued.

Chris Lander, the owner of a comic book store in Hamilton, said the show would not necessarily trigger a crisis of faith, but acknowledged that the story could also offend some people.

Gospel Herald notes that the new TV show has a lot of questionable content, including the fact that God has gone missing in the story. In "Preacher," Jesse Custer from the town of Annville is possessed by a creature called Genesis, the offspring of an angel and a demon. This creature, which has both good and evil characters, could possibly rival God. In the book, the main character goes on a journey to find God with the help of Irish vampire Cassidy and former assassin Tulip O'Hare.

"Preacher" is based on a '90s comic book series by Garth Ennis which features mature themes and a lot of plot twists. The AMC show, which has an R18 restriction, airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. starting June 5 for 10 episodes.