Very good post timetohunt! And yes, I am familiar with the Voice of the Martyrs. There are actually a couple of guys who frequent the meetings/gatherings of this group.
I also agree with your comments and opinions. It is very hard to be a voice for God in today's world. It's easy to just tell ourselves, "that person won't listen to me" or "they don't want to hear about God". It's easy to do, and unfortunately, I do that alot. I had my eyes opened up one Sunday morning when our teacher in Sunday-school told us about his view on witnessing. He had biblical passages to back this up too (sorry I didn't write them down), but he said that when we start thinking someone won't listen to us about God or they don't want to hear us, etc... that God frowns upon this because it's almost like we're saying "Even GOD Himself can't help this person". Here's why... when we witness to someone, it's God talking through us. yes, it's our voice, it's our thoughts, it's our character, but God is doing the work. Our teacher also said that when we witness to someone, God does NOT always expect us to sink in on that person. Or for the "witness" to work. God wants us to plant seeds. When you grow a garden, you plant seeds and if you go check on the garden the next day expecting everything to be grown, you're going to be disapointed. Sometimes, and actually MOST TIMES, the person does not "pick up" what you're "laying down". They don't want to hear it, they don't want to bother. Once that seed is planted... GOD WILL DO THE REST. Now, sometimes, God may want you to further your testimony to that particular person, and maybe not. The best thing to do is pray for that person. I thought this was a very good analogy of how God works. It's the truth because it's in the Bible. If we turn away from people who are lost, then we're saying that this person isn't worthy of knowing God and that God couldn't "change" that person anyways. It's just like saying "GOD YOU ARE NO GOOD TO THAT PERSON".
I too grew up in a baptist church, but ours is southern baptist. AND NO, that doesn't mean we scream out AMEN every 5 seconds or that we clap all the time. (SORRY had to throw some Baptist humor in there) I was raised up that on Sunday, it was the Lord's day. We were to worship Him and sing to Him. Now, that's not to say we didn't carry that out throughout the week too. We attended church functions and fellowhips, but mainly we established a good relationship with our church members a LONG time ago.
The great thing about my church is that it's ever-changing. We get new people in all the time and we have people go all the time (move away, etc...) The core of the church is there and will always be there, but we have such a strong core that the church will always be strong. We focus on one thing.. GOD'S WILL. We are a praying church and we love worshiping with one another.
...I am not skilled to understand, what God has willed, what God has planned, I only know at His right hand, stands One who is my Savior....