magazine cover

CCM: Contemporary Christian Music

October 1991
Vol. 14, No. 4
1991 CCM Publications, Inc.
Page 14


Mad at the World Mad at Sex?

by Brian Q. Newcomb

Everyone from Madonna to Color Me Badd seems to want to "sex you up" and Roger Rose is once again Mad at the World. On the band's fourth album for Alarma Records, Boomerang, he asks "Isn't Sex a Wonderful Thing?" "The song is a statement," said Rose recently at his label's Southern California office, "but it's actually more of a question. I have known a Christian who had been sexually molested when she was younger, and I had heard how this created all these emotional scars in her. I thought sex is supposed to be a wonderful thing, I had even written that in 'I Don't Wanna Go There,' 'But wait til you marry to go there.'

"I know sex is God given and it's supposed to be wonderful, but is it really wonderful? Fathers molest their daughters, marriages fall apart because of affairs or incompatibility -- I know selfishness and sin are the actual causes but sex plays a part in there. In the song I talk about the bad side of sex as it's been misused in our world, and in the last verse I go back to the idea that it's given by God, but I don't answer the question. I'll answer it now: sex is a wonderful thing if it follows God's rules -- which is purity before marriage, fidelity after marriage -- where sex gets God's blessing. I think sex isn't a wonderful thing when it's outside of God's blessing and plan."

Mad at the World debuted the song during its performance at Cornerstone '89, and the song was scheduled for release on its 1990 release, Seasons of Love. Rose says, "The record company thought it was too controversial, they thought the only thing anyone would remember is the hook line which says 'isn't sex a wonderful thing?' People might assume I was promoting promiscuity, and not get the point. That whole record was trying to right a wrong, I tried to respond to people I had seen write off the whole concept of love as 'that was that theory I had when I was a kid, when I used to think that love will make you happy, and I believed in such a thing as true love. But, I've since had a few relationships and I've come to believe that love is a joke, and love rips you off.'

"I tried to write about every aspect about love that I could think of, including the good and the bad, the broken hearts that come. I wrote it to myself and to others as a reminder that the only way to find real love is to keep feeding your faith that love will be there."

For Rose the important ministry Mad at the World offers to fans of today's rock scene is this kind of corrective to what he considers erroneous and even dangerous thinking. "We've always taken this or that aspect of life or attitudes or morality and tried to talk about the world's redefining of it, and then talk about a godly or Christian perspective. We've tried to do it in a way that doesn't isolate non-believers, we try to do it in a way that's intelligent enough, honest enough, real enough for people to relate to whether they're Christian or not. I've never tried to shape my lyrics for a members-only club."