A sacrifice should be a ceremony that requires an altar dedicated to your deity. It should require expended accoutrements that are not included in the "value" of the sacrifice (incense, candles, virgins, etc) that are in keeping with the deity's portfolio. And finally it should require TIME.
IOW, the book makes it seem like making a sacrifice is easy. It should not be easy, not even a little bit easy.
Totally agree with the point here. Though I feel it IS acceptable for the occasional "instant Sacrifice" now and again. But of course the real problem here is that the "Sacrifice" needs to be specific to the Deity in question to make real sense?
I mean dedicating a Kill (solo kill nobody helping out I mean) might work if you follow a god of war etc.
Sacrificing a Maiden is ok if your following the god of evil etc.
Performing an act of self flagellation is OK if your a follower of Some Acetic deity as well...
And so on and so on.
The gold for remitted penalties is a good generic way
to simulate this but cannot work in all circumstances. I mean if you were a follower of Plutus and you threw gold away (as in my tongue in cheek example previously)
you'd be guilty of Sin! But on the other hand if you give it to the temple that would work. The problem with that is that the temple is usually a long way away from the dungeon...
I realize it would take a fair bit of work but if the finished book (or perhaps a supplement) could have guidelines per pantheon or "Domain" of what constitutes an acceptable sacrifice then we'd all bless you!
For now I think I'm gonna stick with allowing a limited amount of Credit to be accrued by Clerics who donate or sacrifice before an adventure to the cause of their god(s) In some appropriate way for that Deity.
Say one or two points per level they have attained, that they can "cash in" when they really need to avoid that spell dissaproval result (Like in the middle of a deadly combat)