One of the temptations of spiritual leadership is spiritual prostitution. Ezekiel 16:15-21 spells this out. He begins,
“15 But you trusted in your beauty and used your fame to become a prostitute.”
When Christ works in us he develops a spiritual beauty. This is seen both by those who are spiritual, and those who are searching. The beauty of Christ in us draws people to us. Since we feel esteem when people come to us, we are tempted to use what God has made us to draw people to ourselves even further. So Ezekiel goes on,
“16 You lavished your favours on anyone who passed by and your beauty became his.”
Those who use us in this way are clothed in us instead of being clothed in Christ. So, the followers become caricatures of their leader.
As we see people being drawn to the spirituality God has developed in us, we are tempted to shift focus from the giver to the gifts making idols of them. “17 You also took the fine jewelry I gave you, the jewelry made of my gold and silver, and you made for yourself male idols and engaged in prostitution with them. “
The final part of this process is tragic: “20 ‘“And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols.” Anything that we worship outside of Christ consumes us, so those who gather to this idolatrous ministry are sacrificed for the sake of the ministry.