If the Bible's teachings on gender roles don't seem all that clear to you, welcome to the majority of CT readers. The most recent gender survey conducted by Christianity Today Internationals research department shows that most CT subscribers are unsure what the Bible really means in what it says about the roles of men and women.

Eighty-eight percent of 750 respondents agree that "there is a lot of confusion about male and female roles in the Christian world today." Only 19 percent say that the Bible's teachings on the matter are "very clear and plainly understood," while 39 percent say that the teachings are "clear in principle, with much room for personal choice and practice." It's no wonder, then, that 78 percent of respondents think that "Christian leaders need to speak out on proper roles for men and women," while only 9 percent say they don't need such guidance.

Who's in Charge?

Eighty-nine percent of our readers agree with the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood's tenet that "God made men and women to be equal in personhood and value but different in roles." But, when asked specifically about the often-debated roles, a surprising number of respondents seemed to move away from the belief that men are by divine right in charge of churches and families.

Only 38 percent agree or strongly agree with the complementarian contention that "only men should be ordained," while 47 percent disagree or strongly disagree. Fifteen percent are unsure.

Tipping the scales toward the complementarian position, 55 percent agree or strongly agree that "the husband holds ultimate responsibility for all major decisions in the family and the home"—while 37 percent disagree or strongly disagree, and 7 are uncertain.

As many as 69 percent of ...

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