About the statement in the post -
"If you have no intention of ever dating or marrying, you just need to be honest and say so, rather than leaving people in the dark. "
If that was to me, I don't leave folks in the dark, I tell them I'm a confirmed batchelor as soon as any issue involving that comes up.
There can be negative people in the churches at times, also lots of gossip etc. Often it's best to hold back on the details except for closer friends.
The presentation from the mega-church pastor was very poor, some of us are more conservative and not at all impressed with the "Motivational Speaker" type of presentations where little scripture is used and when it is it's always out of context. I was surprised that none of the conditions and situations applied to me, my friend should have known this but supposedly directed me to the presentation after listening to it.
Also I'm not at all convinced that giving money to churches with food courts and bowling alleys, sending kids to youth conferences where they drop Mentos in soda, listen to "Christian punk-rock" or "Christian heavy metal" and other such activities is giving to God in any way shape or form.
I do give, but the whole issue with money and accumulating wealth is much harder these days. My father had an old style pension that would provide him money until he died. Many of us these days have self-directed plans. Having studied financial planning (really being taught as I don't teach it) there are some hard issues to face
- If the market crashes as in a depression or collapse do I have enough money? - Probably not
- If I need long-term care in a couple of decades do I have enough money? - Probably not
- Because of previous health problems and family history I should be more conservative
- I actually have no idea if I'm a hundreds of thousands underfunded or over-funded after lots of study.
Being confirmed by a more conservative assembly I would never have even considered dating a divorced woman, I understand the problems in society, all I can do is be thankful that there is none of that in my family, that is parents, siblings and their children. I'm still not sure about the remarriage/divorce issue, I have no problem with those who have made these mistakes working things out finding each other and I'm sort of softening up on that view. I never bring it up in fellowship because so many are on 2nd and 3rd marriages etc.
In one assembly where I didn't join the pastor was sort of pushy about it in the sermons, at least once sort of throwing down a guilt trip, I didn't feel that was correct.
I do feel bad for folks who are in a bad situation for whatever reason.