Folly's End is the name of a church in Croydon, South London, in the UK. It was begun by Dave and Ze Markee who had first started meetings in their own home which they had named Folly's End. The story goes that with Dave as a professional bass player they had moved many times and this new home was going to be the end of the madness - the folly - of life on the constant move.
In the mid 90s a series of events that have been named as The Toronto Blessing began to occur out of a church near Toronto Airport in Canada. At the time this was a Fellowship part of the Vineyard group of churches: One of the Streams of New Churches that has arisen out of the 80s and 90s. The news of this Blessing spread and many church leaders and folk seeking renewal and also to see what the Lord may be up to, then travelled to Toronto to see what was happening. John and Carol Arnott were the leaders of the Fellowship there which is now called Catch The Fire. This is now also the new name for a range of connected churches. Dave and Ze visited and became friends with John and Carol. Folly's End is part of an association of churches known as Partners in Harvest which Catch The Fire also belongs to.
I first heard of Folly's End in 1998 and travelled up from Redhill where I then lived which took about ½ an hour's drive. Within a short time I recognised the Lord's intent for me to join this church. So I did. This led me to move to Croydon where I bought my own flat and I then lived in the area up until March 2012. Early on I had a meeting with Dave and his 2nd in command Nigel and it was recommended I shadow Nigel which I did and took a couple of teaching events when Nigel was overbooked: a brief baptism class and an introduction on the Holy Spirit.
Now Dave and Ze have a great love for people and one day a lady came for help and what was discovered and learned was that this lady though fully grown had issues in her life that meant she had not grown emotionally. It is as if she was still a child emotionally. The experience with this lady was part of what set Dave and Ze to learn and practise a form of counselling known as inner healing. So much so that any problem someone might exhibit, the only way forward then seen for that person was to go through inner healing. A persistent dedication to inner healing then became the rule. I write a little more about this form of counselling in my article Counselling or, what?
Folly's End is a church that practises the gifts of the Spirit as they are known - tongues, prophecy, etc... - words from the Lord are recognised. One such word that has been proclaimed as core to Folly's ethos is the Lord's instruction:
You love them; I'll change them.
Soon after I started going to Folly's Dave was booked to speak in Brazil and just before he left I got 2 words from the Lord "fresh manna" which meant nothing to me, but felt this was for Dave so I shared it with him. He explained how this is exactly what he needed as he had been concerned about what he should speak about when he got to Brazil and those 2 words had a special meaning for him.
However, going back to the word to Folly's, sadly what is often the case, when something takes over the place of the Lord, inner healing had become an idol in place of the Lord and His ways. This is seen by the wisdom that is from above that James mentions:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
By the lack of mercy and good fruits, partiality and hypocrisy, the enemy's involvement can be discerned - I shared with Dave (for example) how Margaret head of counselling had said one thing as a counsellor and then directly contradicted it as Director of the company where I worked for a time - Inner healing had become an idol and no longer a tool. So that this instruction from the Lord "You love them; I'll change them" was expressed but not carried out in practise. People would be loved, yes, but not then left to the Lord to change them. If they were offered inner healing and it was not accepted as THE WAY forward, the person was then isolated and described as inferior or unfit and only those who had been through the rite were acknowledged as part of the group. The word itself - in fact - was a warning from the Lord and unheeded as it was only appreciated by how nice it sounded.
Unfortunately, I learned and understood this situation late: But, not so late that I did not get to share it in good time with Dave and Ze. It was in fact very timely, as Dave had not yet published his book which also promotes this inner healing.
It took a lot of prayer, heart searching and patience for me to see this and one day as I walked into town the Lord showed me the truth of the above idolatry by revelation. So I wrote Dave a letter and requested to meet with them and share what I believed was something the enemy had access to at Folly's. We met, Dave, Ze and I, in Dave's office. I shared the above. It was rejected and I was further isolated within Folly's. This response to a letter was rare and no other letter since was answered. This kind of isolating practise is in effect a form of persecution and when the opportunity arose I shared about this persecution with Paul one of the trustees in his home. I remember the occasion well since as we talked in his dining room together in private there was then an unexpected power cut and we were in darkness for a time. Isolation of individuals is a sign of the enemy having a hold somewhere. See the article Wolf in sheep's clothing?
I have also done the article Making an idol which helps identify - by the fruit apparent - whether something has become an idol.
As time went by the leadership made attempts to get me to leave. One memorable occasion is when Nigel cornered me to meet with him and the building centre manager Pete as a 3rd party witness. This happened in Nigel's office and immediately after an evening service which I was really pleased with: The time of worship was such a great time of being filled with the Spirit and thus an ideal preparation for such a meeting. Nigel accused me of needing to repent so that as he went on about that the Lord gave me the wisdom I needed. I simply asked what sin he would like me to repent of. He could not answer. Eventually, many months later they found an excuse for asking me to go and employed it. I misread the event which could have been used to bring all the above to public light and mistakenly, thought the situation was asking me to go quietly, so I prayed they would know love from me as I hugged them and left.
Having left I tried to communicate the situation with another Paul who was then acting head of a group of local church leaders named after Psalm 133 and which Folly's belonged to. I was also for a time in correspondence with the then head of the Evangelical Alliance which Folly's was also a member of. Suffice to say anyone forced to leave a church when they had persistent desire to talk and work things through is not biblical. See the article Kicked out of church? But, my concern lay however very much also on this hold the enemy had: hence this very article.
Whilst at Folly's I was for a good time a part of the group of intercessors. We met regularly in the centre on a weekly night and when Dave planned to start what was called the King David Kompany (KDK), we were asked to join with others in the main meeting room to pray and hear from the Lord in regards to this project. I asked the Lord for something and for a time received nothing then got a clear word which I shared in the meeting on a hand held microphone there for that purpose. It was a verse from the bible (at that point the significance of this eluded me as I was just faithfully sharing a word received):
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it.
I did not stop giving there or interceding for them for some time, but a few years after I left, I heard the sad news that Margaret had died of cancer and that there had been a further split in the church (since apparently there had been one before I joined), though some may call it just a major exodus.
I shared this article with Dave and offered him the opportunity to check it for accuracy before making it public.
May we all learn about any idol in our lives and deal with them so we are better ambassadors for the Lord as His Church on earth.