Family Guide for Avengers: Infinity War

by Adam Holz

Last week, Plugged In posted a review of the huge new movie Avengers: Infinity War (click here to read it). There are plenty of issues to consider before going to see this film, as we talked about in that column.

Many families will decide that the movie’s violence and profanity are too intense. However, we recognize plenty of families will still choose to see Infinity War. For those that do, talking about it afterward can help your children see where and how the movie lines up with Scripture… and where it doesn’t.

Avengers: Infinity War involves many heroes making brave, sacrificial choices. It also includes scenes with surprising spiritual connections. Here are some questions for you to discuss with your family.

Who Is Your Master?
At one point, Doctor Strange, Iron Man and Spider-Man meet the Guardians of the Galaxy for the first time. The Guardians mistakenly believe that the heroes from Earth are agents of Thanos. A brief battle erupts. They find out they’re all on the same side when Doctor Strange says, “Let me ask you this one time: what master do you serve?”

To which Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) responds, “What master do I serve? What am I supposed to say—Jesus?” Quill’s being sarcastic, and audiences laugh at the joke. But it’s still an important question for us to consider. Even people who deny Christ or follow a different path know deep down the correct answer.

• Why is it sometimes hard to stand up for Jesus as your Master?
• Discuss this statement as a family: Who you listen to is who you become. Do you think that’s true?
• What might we be tempted to serve instead of Jesus?
• In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” How would you say you express your love for God?

Which Treasure Will We Choose?
Thanos wants to kill half the people in the universe, even if he has to pay a terrible price personally. In a vision, he meets his adoptive daughter, Gamora, as a child. She asks him what it cost to achieve his goal.

“Everything,” Thanos replies sadly.

His response reminds me of the time Jesus asks His disciples to lay down their lives to follow Him. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25, ESV). Then He adds, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

• What are the most important things in your life?
• Is it easy for you to lay down your life to serve others or to serve God? Why or why not?
• Why is it better to follow God than to seek earthly treasure or our own plans?

The Value of Life
Thanos is a complicated villain. He wants to commit murder on a cosmic level—definitely villainous behavior. But here’s the twist. He seems convinced that he’s doing it to save the other half. Yup, Thanos thinks he’s doing the universe a favor by killing half of it. It’s a terrible idea, but one that’s not unique to this movie.

Some countries, such as China, have previously fought overpopulation by passing policies that limited families to one child—thus killing preborn babies. Radical environmentalists argue that humans are destroying the Earth. At times, they value the planet over a person.

All of this reminds me of Proverbs 14:12: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Thanos’ “wisdom” leads to literal death for billions. Thankfully, other characters in the film value life, every life, deeply. Captain America tells one character who’s willing to sacrifice himself to save others, “We don’t trade lives.” What they do instead is battle heroically to save as many as possible.

Captain America’s beliefs are in line with Scripture when it comes to the value of a life. The Bible tells us that each one of us is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27) and that we’re “remarkably and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Being made by a loving Father gives every life meaning and importance, even if they seem insignificant.

• Why do you think that the world says some people’s lives are more important than others?
• In what ways do humans try to “play God”? Why do these efforts nearly always end in disaster?
• Have you ever been convinced something was right only to later change your mind and realize you were wrong? Share what happened.

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