Mike Farrington provides an overview of the erosion of the Christian values which have been in the foundations of the UK for hundreds of years.

1. The crumbling of Christian foundations

A great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. That was the comment of American historian Will Durrant about the fall of ancient Rome. Many of us view with dismay and horror the systematic dismantling of values and beliefs within our society over the last generation. When and how did it all start? Has the undermining of the Christian foundations of our society simply been a series of haphazard developments that have brought us to the point where, in a nation that has taken God's word to the four corners of the earth, we now face a threat to the very freedom of the gospel itself?

I am not attempting to offer a simplistic answer to those questions, but we would do well to look at one or two significant markers in the history of the rise of secular humanism in our nation. We need to see too that there is a war raging over our nation, and indeed over the Judeo-Christian heritage of the western world, a war fought not with guns and bombs, but even more terrible and devastating in its consequences.

John Mulinde, leader of the World Trumpet Mission, a prayer movement based in Uganda, gave a very enlightening and shocking analysis a few years ago of the undermining of the Christian call and heritage of our western nations. He was speaking at the 'Europe Awake' prayer conference in the UK in 1999.

2. The rise of intellectualism

Mulinde pointed to the Industrial Revolution and the Enlightenment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as being a trigger for big change. Hitherto western man had by and large taken belief in God and respect for the Bible as being essential to the foundations of life. However, a new wave of intellectualism now swept the continent. The mind of man began to be exalted, and began to challenge the place of the word of God.

Darwin's 'Origin of Species', containing the Theory of Evolution, was published in 1859, and our education, our society and our whole western worldview is still reeling from the consequences. The theory of evolution not only affected people's attitude to the origin of life and belief in a Creator, but it also affected the way many theologians went about interpreting the Bible. Dr Victor Pearce in his series 'Evidence for Truth' (Vol 1, 'Science'), explains: "Religion, too, must have evolved, they thought, so Wellhausen reshuffled the Bible to make it an evolutionary picture. Critics concluded that the early chapters of Genesis were myths and folklore derived from Babylon. Wellhausen played a similar role in destructive criticism of the Bible to that which Darwin unwittingly played to destroy faith in the Creator."

Nonetheless, at the same time, the Gospel was being taken around the world with great zeal and through great sacrifice. Key in this powerful advance were Britain and Germany. At the Berlin Conference in 1884, at which the present national boundaries of the African nations were delineated, Christians from Britain and Germany met together and discussed how to go into these African territories and take the Gospel, and also how to persuade the USA, which had been experiencing significant revivals, to join the strategy.

3. The disillusionment of war

Only 30 years later, Britain and Germany, the two great missionary-sending nations, were at war. Millions were slaughtered, very often in the name of God and Christianity. After the war there was a real and genuine cry for peace. However, Christian values could apparently no longer protect the world, for the nations which had seemed to stand for them had contributed to the world's hitherto most horrifying destruction of life. In 1933 The Humanist Manifesto was published, a direct full-frontal rejection of the old beliefs and certainties. Here, in this disillusionment and confusion, was found the most fertile ground for the devil to sow deception.

4. Alice Bailey and The Plan

At The 'Europe Awake' event in 1999, John Mulinde spoke in detail about Alice Bailey (1880 - 1949), who has been described as 'the mother of the New Age'. Born in Manchester but later emigrating to the USA after a period in India, she began writing in 1918, and her writings started to hit the market in 1920, though they did not gain a significant readership until after World War II. She said that she wrote at the dictation of a spirit guide named 'Djwhal Kohl'. Key to her writings was 'THE PLAN' - to liberate the world from the restrictions and yokes of Christianity.

The starting premise for Bailey's strategy was this: don't bother with the adults; target the children. If you can train the children, every generation that follows will be more receptive to The Plan than the one before it. Eventually The Plan will become normality. Any nation that will accept The Plan will be free from Christianity.

Here is the outline of the systematic programme contained in The Plan: