In the third episode of Angel Beats entitled, “My Song,” we meet Takeyama, a hacker who has joined the group to help them get into Angel’s computer. He is hyper-intelligent. He is great with computers. He is bold in the face of adversity. He asks them to call him…Christ.
Why Christ? Why does the hacker want to be known as Christ? The name of Christ is revered – even in an alternate anime universe with an afterlife which is nothing like the one described in the Bible. Takeyama wants to take on the name of Christ for himself for his own purposes. Where did we see that before? Acts 19 with the so called “Sons of Sceva” (Acts 19:11-16).
The Sons of Sceva were a group of itinerant Jewish exorcists in Ephesus who decided to try to drive out demons in the name of Christ. They saw others do it successfully, so they decided to try. The problem? They didn’t believe in Christ. They were trying to use Christ’s name for their own benefit – to continue to gain renown as exorcists who could command demons. But, they failed and the demons instead controlled them.
We see others try to take Christ’s name and use it for their own purposes. We see it in sociological cults like the Jonestown cult where Christ was invoked to establish authoritarian control over the followers. We see it in different faiths like Baha’i and Islam where a different version of Jesus are taught that are theologically false according to orthodox Christian doctrine. We see it when people use the Lord’s name in vain using Christ’s name as a curse. We see it in carnival barker like preachers who are teaching false “feel good” gospels to boost membership, tithes. We see it in unbelievers who try to discount Christianity and what Christians believe by using Christ’s name, image, or words against them.
In Angel Beats! we see Takeyama falling in line with many others throughout history who are trying to claim Christ’s name for their own benefit. What does he gain? Nothing. The team does manage to hack into the computer, but they mock him the entire time – never calling him Christ. He continues to ask them throughout the episode to call him by that name, but none of the team are willing to do so. While Takeyama appears willing to try to use Christ’s name, it appears the rest of the team is not.
Let us not be like Takeyama and think we are deserving to call ourselves Christ. We are not perfect. We are not Holy. We are not the Messiah. We are not sinless. We are not God. We are not Christ and neither is Takeyama.