My theory of theology is that all theology can be divided in two basic categories, theoretical theology and practical theology.
Theoretical theology is by far the most common. Too often, it's what most people hear on Sunday morning, someone's theory of what God is like or what He will do. Some of it is very reasonable. Too much of it is somebody's opinion of what God ought to be like or what He ought to do.
Practical theology is a little harder to come by, because it's based on personal experience. None of us see everything God does, so practical theology tends to be rather limited in scope.
One example of the two theologies in action would be the whole debate over speaking in tongues. Some theoretical theologians would say speaking in tongues is evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Others say, "Tongues is of the devil!"
A practical theologian would look around at the Church in general and conclude that some obviously Spirit filled Christians speak in tongues, other obviously Spirit filled Christians don't.
And leave it at that.
Practical theology tends to be simple and realistic. If a point requires intricate and convoluted arguments, it's probably a matter of theory. If God is the God of reality, then theology has to make sense in the real world.
Moving on to the ex-gay question, the theoreticians tell us that homosexuals can't be Christians, that homosexual sex is an abomination, or that God will cure us if we really want Him to and have enough faith.
By the way, those last three words are a sure sign you're dealing with theoretical theology. That's the escape hatch. When the thing they're promoting doesn't happen, healing for instance, they can always brush it off saying you don't have enough faith. That puts the blame squarely on the person who needed healing and forestalls any need to reevaluate the theory.
As a member of the LGBT community who sometimes attends a "gay" church and has been through the local ex-gay ministry, I have to base my theology on the reality that I have seen.
What I have seen is that practicing homosexuals can be very devout, sincere, and even Spirit filled Christians. God does not hate homosexuals. I have personally experienced His love in my life. That's why I'm still a Christian, even though I've tried for years not to be.
There are those who would say, "But God doesn't want you to be gay! He can deliver you from homosexuality!" And they even have the Scriptures to prove it.
However, if you take those Scriptures and read them in context, looking up the original Hebrew or Greek words if necessary, you'll find those verses don't always say what people claim. If they're using verses from the King James Version which contain the word sodomite, just ignore them. They haven't done their homework. The word sodomite does not appear anywhere in the Hebrew or Greek Bible. It's an interpolation made by the King James translators for a word that meant a cultic male prostitute. It's just the masculine form of the word translated whore elsewhere.
As for God delivering us from homosexuality, that is something I have never seen. Admittedly, I only spent about three years trying to get delivered myself, and that at only one particular ministry. One could argue that particular ministry must have been a phenomenal failure. (Perhaps the leaders didn't have enough faith.)
Some of the men I saw there had been struggling with their sexuality for ten years or more. I saw them in prayer with all their defenses down and have no doubt these were sincere Spirit filled Christians, some of them pastors, who had much more faith than me. If God were going to deliver anyone from homosexuality, it would have been one of those guys.
But He didn't.
In fact, the only ones I ever saw who claimed to have been delivered, were the leaders.
Therefore, I had to conclude that God does not deliver people from homosexuality.
When I say something like that, the theoreticians immediately leap up and cry, "No, no, no, you can't put God into a box like that! Nothing is impossible with God!"
Who's putting God into a box here? I'm not saying that He can't change somebody, I'm just saying that He doesn't. To say that He has to, in order to keep one's theories intact, seems to me to be putting God into the box.
The more important question is not whether or not He can, but why doesn't He? According to the theory, homosexuality is a grievous sin which God calls an abomination. In the real world, devout Spirit filled Christians struggling with this grievous sin cry out to God for deliverence and nothing happens.
Perhaps this "sin" isn't as grievous as the theoreticians would have us believe. Perhaps the verses they throw at us don't even refer to homosexuality per se. Perhaps it's not about what we do with our plumbing, but what we do with our hearts.
Come on, get real.