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.
Christians have 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.