The first Christians immediately set about creating a social
structure based on democratic control of their collective resources,
which were shared freely. While this was a voluntary system, it
carried great spiritual weight and was a continuation of values that
were clearly encouraged in the stories of the Old Testament.
This style of
organizing can also be found in the modern cooperative movement,
which is made up of thousands of democratically controlled businesses
serving millions of members worldwide. This movement touches the
lives of nearly half of Americans, and has grown into a comprehensive
economic system in other parts of the world.
played key roles in the development of this movement, but the
theological basis for this participation is not widely understood.
Holy Cooperation! is an examination of what the Bible teaches
about social organizing, and an exploration of some of the
cooperative ways that Christians have worked together. Through
cooperation we may act as our brothers' and sisters' keepers, while
staying true to Jesus's teachings of liberation.