I am a Christian. There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of them is to do with the view of human nature. Recently, I was involved in a conversation on twiitter during which my interlocutor said Í don't need a deity to tell me to be nice or explain existence'. I responded 'Not sure I'd say I need one, but I believe God exists. And I'm not good at doing nice in my own strength'. Looking at myself and the world around me, St Paul's statement about not doing the good he wills, but doing the evil he does not will resonates. Human beings mess up, both deliberately and accidentally and hurt one another. There are many different sources of advice on how 'to be nice' but we've spectacularly failed. Even the Church, as assorted child abuse scandals (both sexual and physical punishments) and things like the Magdalene laundries show. The institution becomes more important than the message. But Christianity knows that this is how it. We can't be nice all the time in our own strength. But, you see, God doesn't just tell me to be nice (and punishes me when I fail), but she saw the mess we'd made of her world and sent her Son to sort it out. We didn't like this person challenging our institutions and power (and he was pretty rude to the religous people of his day), but he didn't respond with violence but allowed himself to arrested and executed unjustly. He told his followers to offer the other cheek if they were struck and he lived this, to the point of death. But his story doesn't end there, 3 days later he was back, having defeated death and broken the cycle of sin. We still fail and don't live out his message, but I've pledged myself to following this man who was God, confessing when I get it wrong and being strengthened by his self-giving in the Eucharist.