Salt on the Altar – What Do We Worship?

During three centuries, the Roman Empire’s persecution of Christians became increasingly inconvenient for Roman authorities. Typically, a Christian charged with “being a Christian” was dismissed with proof of one’s sacrifice to the emperor’s cult. Logistically, the number of Christians who defied this order left politicians grappling for an easy solution. We can almost envision them deliberating over cases, considering arguments such as “perhaps it is too costly” or “too burdensome” to enforce sacrifices. After all, who would willingly die for their faith, right?

The concession they reached was rather surprising—salt. Merely a pinch of salt placed on the altar was considered enough to absolve the accusation of “being a Christian.” It required minimal investment; in fact, the prosecutors would even provide the salt. The accused simply had to take a pinch and toss it onto the altar. Sadly, we have records that show many Christians resorted to this act.

Nevertheless, there are also historical records that reveal those who stood firm in their beliefs and paid with their lives.

I highlight this historical anecdote to underscore how effortless, inconsequential, and trivial the act of idol worship was during the early Christian era. Deny your faith by showing a sign of worship to another’s god with just a pinch of salt…

Now, I pose the question to you—do you believe this has vanished entirely?

Isn’t idol worship all-consuming? No, I dare to say, it can be as minute as a pinch of salt.

Today, we easily deny our faith countless times, offering pinches of salt on the altars of numerous gods.

I challenge you to perceive your “salt” as your money. Where do you so freely allocate your financial resources? Are they intentionally directed towards what is necessary and good? The manner in which you spend your money will illuminate your “salt.” In this age of abundance, where your money flows serves as an indicator of which idols are encroaching upon your life, distracting your soul.

Similarly, I challenge you to consider your “salt” as your time. Where do you invest your time so readily? Is it purposeful? We exist in an era of leisure where time is abundant. When we claim to be busy, we deceive ourselves. Our time reveals which idols are dominating our thoughts and driving our souls towards good or evil.

Yes, God is a very merciful God and He is always there to welcome us back. However, I dare to think of how every pinch of salt we throw we hurt Him, we erode the beautiful progress of our souls, we chose our own path, and miss out on the glory and blessings He offers.

Something to ponder as we look back on the early Christian martyrs and the temptations we face in our modern world.