Dr. Matt Clark and Daniel Dobson talk about tonight's gay Christian event.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Christians and members of the gay community will unite Thursday night, at the first-ever speaker presentation on what it means to be gay in the church.
"Homosexuality and Christianity: A new approach in a polarizing debate," will bring together three Christian speakers, who believe this is the time to go public about the topic.
"I came out a year and a half ago, the day after Don't Ask, Don't Tell ended," said 28-year-old Daniel Dobson.
With that off his back, Dobson faced his next challenge: His last name. He's the son of well-known local pastor Ed Dobson.
"I felt because of what my last name is, and who I am, who God created me to be, I had an obligation to say something," he said.
Now, he's ready to tell his story to the Christian community, along with psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark, in hopes to make other homosexuals feel more comfortable about going to church.
"Seeing people who are depressed, in marriages and aren't happy. Or a child that came out... sparked me to want to start this," said Dr. Clark.
Dr. Clark will also speak from experience. "This book probably saved my life," he said, referring to 'What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality.' "I was contemplating suicide. I'm using it a lot for the section on my presentation," he said.
Their target audience is the general Christian family.
"A lot of Christians who, their church stance is different, but in their heart, they're thinking this isn't quite right," said Dr. Clark.
But Dobson says even some of those people still aren't quite there in accepting their fellow parishioners, siblings, or sons and daughters.
"I understand the concept behind love the sinner, hate the sin. I've never seen it practiced well, I've never seen someone be loving," said Dobson.
Though he knows some people will never separate the words gay from sin, he hopes this discussion will open up both hearts, and minds.
"That common starting point, we can get a lot done."
The discussion runs from 7-9 p.m. at the Wealthy Theatre. Tickets are $10, $8 for students.