By Caleb Bobrycki
Image Credit: Marvel and Disney Studios
When an insane and powerful alien seeks to obtain the power to control the universe through the means of the six infinity stones, our beloved superheroes must team back up to stop their greatest enemy yet.
To be completely honest, I did not expect much from this feature, but it seems as though Marvel Studios is staying on their toes, as they break the convention of their films thus far, and end this spectacle in a way that leaves audiences stumbling out of the theater. It is worthy to commend the Russo brothers for this amazing feat, as probably very few could have maintained such balance with number of characters as they did. The composition and editing were on par, as always; the dark tone nuanced perfectly with the humor; and the stop motion design for Josh Brolin’s character, Thanos, was absolutely breathtaking. Some are pointing out plot holes in the story and critiquing certain character motivations, but all that is to be expected with a project of this size and may not always be the immediate fault of the directors. The themes of despair and hope are littered throughout the film for both believers and unbelievers to discuss. Yet, as is often the case, the unbeliever has no grounds for taking a stand against our powerful villain, outside of the Christian worldview.
Thanos and Planned Parenthood
Nihilism, simply defined, is the belief that life has no ultimate meaning. Thanos is a nihilist, leading him to find life as a burden, and beings inhabiting planets as mere statistics that should be wiped out if they endanger their environment. There are even pictures all in the comics in which the word “nihilist” is engraved on his head. This is a sure sign of insanity, correct? Anyone who roots for Thanos should be put away. Yet, there is something striking as the godly begin to dig a bit deeper: those who believe that life has no meaning are contradicting themselves if they long for Thanos’s demise.
Planned Parenthood supporters, who also see life as meaningless and murder as a mere means to a greater good, need not root for the Avengers in this one. If their worldview does not value human life, they, instead, should side with the Mad Titan. See, the creators of Infinity War are in agreement with the Christian worldview here, regardless of if they are inconsistent with their own. But what is so wrong, according to the Christian worldview, with killing half of the human population to save the planet? It’s as simple as this: we are not God. The human race should not take matters into its own hands. Instead of fretting over whether or not we will survive overpopulation, we must trust God to provide our needs. But worldviews outside Christianity do not have such a framework to uphold hope against such seeming “odds”. In Christ, however, believers have a firm foundation to put their trust in so that, instead of delivering ourselves out of despair by committing murder, we know that as finite creatures, we did not spin the universe into existence, and therefore we have no right to make those calls; in other words, Christ is the First and the Last, and as sovereign ruler, only he decides how and how long we survive. If atheists are rooting for the Avengers and yet support the killing of the unborn, then on what basis is Thanos wrong in their worldview?
Christians on the fence, some may ask, “How could you bring a child into a world full of so much evil? Wouldn’t you rather take a child’s life than allow her to grow up in such a horrible environment?” Based on that logic, why don’t we resort to mass genocide in poorer countries to save humans from poverty? The fact is, a Darwinian worldview is the framework that individuals such as Adolf Hitler used to support the slaughter of millions. For them, though some may not word it this way, it is the survival of the fittest.
We even struggle with this on an individual level, as Christians. In the nitty gritty of life, we may also be quick to distrust God’s providence and seek to take matters into our own hands, if even in things like lying or theft. The truth is rough on our flesh here, but its a message we need to pray the Spirit sinks into our hearts: self-deliverance is actually more depressing and stressful than trusting God. Don’t wonder at how Paul was able to say with seeming ease, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need” (Phil. 4:11b-12). He gives the answer in the following, oft misquoted, verse when he says, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (v. 13).
Thanos doesn't compare to God. To even attempt a comparison would do injustice to the name of the Lord. God is an infinite fountain of self-sufficiency. When he takes or gives, it is not to change anything about him. Thanos conquered to become something; our Lord is. The point? Some purple alien, no matter his powers, is still just a creature, in this fictitious world. Creatures have no right to play God, no matter if they are Thanos or Margaret Sanger.