HBO's "The Leftovers" is four episodes in and one thing seems clear about the world these writers are trying to create: Christianity will not mean much to people anymore if the rapture takes place.
When the show kicked off, we analyzed the relevance of this show to Christianity and now with four full episodes, believing viewers can get a better feel of what's going on in the series and if it's worth checking out as the season progresses.
The third episode titled "Two Boats and Helicopter" features a character named Reverend Matt Jamison who now pastors a church that has dwindled down to a handful of folks. Matt struggles to keep his church by gambling to win the money he owes the bank for the lease, but eventually loses the building to the cult group The Guilty Remnant.
The fourth episode titled "B.J. and the A.C." takes this indifference to the faith even further. According to some critics, the B.J. stands for Baby Jesus and the A.C. stands for Anti-Christ. The episode takes place during Christmas and Mapleton's nativity is missing its Baby Jesus. Later in the episode we find out that it was stolen by Jill, the daughter of Police Chief Kevin Garvey. This is where the show could get really offensive to believers.
People of the town just don't care about things once held sacred as one of Jill's friends proposes to lay his privates on the Baby Jesus doll's head as a joke. Many believers watching this scene would be offended, especially when the crass joke isn't really needed to convey the loss of faith in the community.
Jill's father Kevin was assigned to find the Baby Jesus doll and it is eventually left on his stairs by two of her friends with guilty consciences. An announcement is made at a Christmas town event that the baby was retrieved, but none of the characters seem to care.
Most believers would like to imagine a post-rapture future where people are running to Jesus in droves as the war of Armageddon approaches. You will not get that with "The Leftovers." Characters' attitudes towards Christianity range from antagonistic to devout, but the former far more frequent than the latter. The only person who has remained faithful to an extent is Pastor Matt, who ends up replacing the Baby Jesus with his own doll at the end of episode 4, even after losing his church.
One last aspect that might interest Christians is that the Antichrist appears to be on the way in the show. A character named Christine is pregnant, and she's been harrassed by deranged people saying "I know what's inside you." With the initials A.C. in episode 4's title, there is a good chance that the writers might have this type of figure in mind.
The pacing of "The Leftovers" has sped up during the past few episodes making it somewhat more enjoyable, however, the but the disrespect towards Christianity feels forced and doesn't artfully add to the story.