I'm going to address a question crucial in dealing with any aspect of Christian doctrine: how do we correctly interpret what the Bible is actually saying to us?
What I'm about to share is how I examine the Scriptures when I am seeking what God has to say as I write. Most of it is common sense. Unfortunately, common sense seems to leave many theologians when it comes to the Scriptures and it is both amazing and appalling to see some of the screwed-up doctrinal statements of many denominations.
On top of that, there are so-called Christians who misuse the Bible to preach hate against various groups: racial minorities, interracial marriages, homosexuals, Jews, and those with whom they disagree doctrinally/politically, to name just a few.
Even worse, we also have Christianity-based cults — such as Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science (which is neither Christian nor scientific), Seventh-Day Adventism, and a host of others — who lift certain verses and passages out of the Bible and misinterpret them to serve their own doctrinal ends and include contradictory extra-biblical texts to their lists of what they consider to be scripture.
So how can we determine where these groups have gone astray so we can avoid being deceived ourselves? How can we be certain we are clearly proclaiming the Truth to members of such groups who have bought into the lies of man's religion and the devil?
It boils down to a ten-dollar theological term called hermeneutics which means "how we interpret the Bible." Exegesis is the actual process of digging into the Bible on a particular topic or verse. What I'm about to share with you are the best set of hermeneutical guidelines I've ever found, written in plain and non-theological language.