A jaded atheist and a conservative Christian walk into a bar….

This might sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but this really happens. Church of the Bottle welcomes atheists, agnostics, pantheists and everyone in between to join them on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. for a beverage. They meet at “The Bay," a bar on Pine Street in Warrensburg, Mo. to discuss various topics that range from religion to politics.

If you haven't already noticed, Church of the Bottle isn’t your average Bible study. It is an engaging discussion where everyone is welcome to voice their opinion. They have entertained atheists and agnostics since launching their church two weeks ago, and the heated banters have continued ever since. Church of the Bottle’s facilitator, Mark Bliss, strives to get everyone engaged—even those who do not believe in God.

"I got to college and realized that me excluding people was more of a stumbling block than alcohol ever was,” said Bliss. “The reason we started this was to meet people where they are at. The bar is just to show that Christians are authentic and are willing to share their opinions with others.”

Not only is Church of the Bottle a legitimate 501(c)(3), but they are actually a sister church to Wayfare, a community of Christians who meet on Sunday mornings in Java Junction at the other end of Pine Street past all the bars.

“While one church meets in a coffee shop, the other meets in a bar,” said Bliss with a chuckle.

If you have any frustrations with organized religion or just need somewhere to vent your opinions and ask questions, Church of the Bottle is a perfect forum for these discussions. My experience was quite enjoyable. It's a place where you can enjoy a nice pint with some good company.

Would you be interested in debating heated topics like religion, politics or global issues?  Feel free to contact Mark Bliss at mbliss@ucmo.edu.