Ezekiel 33:11 states, "Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord GOD, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?'"
I do not see this as necessitating autonomous human free-will. Instead, I actually see it as requiring the opposite.
WHY THIS PASSAGE IS NOT ARGUING FOR FREE-WILL
The supposed argument in favor of free-will from this passage seems to follow these general lines...
1. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.
2. Therefore God does not cause people to be wicked.
3. However, people are wicked.
4. Therefore, we have free-will.
From my perspective, the problem with this reasoning is the step from (1) to (2). I don't see how (2) is necessitated by (1). It may seem like a reasonable conclusion, but surely it isn't necessitated. I would instead suggest that apparently, not everything that God causes to happen gives him "pleasure" or "delight" (חָפֵץ), as some translations render it. But that in no way means He did not cause those things. It just means He receives no pleasure or delight in them.
We know that God repeatedly causes the death of the wicked, because the Bible is full of explicit examples of such behavior on His part (Genesis 6:17; 1 Samuel 2:25; Acts 5:4-5; etc). Obviously, God causes many things He takes no pleasure in. If He never caused anything He had no pleasure in, He would never cause the deaths of the wicked. Instead, He would cause the wicked to live forever (since He takes no pleasure in their deaths), or until they repented (since He apparently takes pleasure in that). God is in complete control of when we die, so this would be no problem for Him (Deuteronomy 32:39; Psalm 139:16; Acts 17:25; 1 Timothy 6:13; 1 Samuel 2:6).
Since we know from scripture that God causes things He takes no pleasure in, like the death of the wicked, there doesn't seem, from my perspective, to be anything in this passage that can be used to claim that God does not also cause the wickedness-of-the-wicked. Note that the passage doesn't even say that God takes no pleasure in the wickedness-of-the-wicked. As far as this particular passage is concerned, it's entirely possible that God does take pleasure in the wickedness-of-the-wicked.
I'm convinced He does not, but this passage doesn't actually say He doesn't.
Since whether or not the-wickedness-of-the-wicked is something that gives God pleasure is not actually in view in this passage, and since the only thing in this passage that God does not take pleasure in is something that we know from scripture that God causes repeatedly, I definitely fail to see how this passage claims that God does not cause the wickedness-of-the-wicked, and that therefore we have autonomous free-will.
WHY THIS PASSAGE IS ARGUING AGAINST FREE-WILL
Not only does Ezekiel 33:11 not seem to be arguing for human free-will, it seems to be arguing against such a thing.
First, the passage states that in God's view, at least some people are wicked. This is a judgment of their hearts or their behavior. In order for God to justly judge their hearts or behavior as being wicked, their hearts and behavior must be within the realm of His authority. But if they are not part of His creation, it is difficult to see how they could be under His authority. If, instead of God being the uncaused-first-cause of human desires and behavior, someone or something else is the uncaused-first-cause, then that other thing is sovereign over our thoughts and behavior, not God. When God then calls it "wicked", He is acting as nothing more than an usurper, condemning another God's creation.
But what justifies one God's condemnation of another God's creation? Why would the God who calls our behavior "bad" be right, rather than the God who caused our behavior in the first place? How can condemning our behavior be acceptable if our behavior is not under His authority? And how can it be under His authority if it is not part of His created domain, but rather part of someone else's created domain?
And who is this other uncaused-first-cause, that causes our wicked behavior? According to the Bible, there is only one God (Isaiah 46:9-11; Isaiah 44:6; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Timothy 2:5). The scriptures don't seem to leave any room for another uncaused-first-cause.
So, by stating that God condemns the behavior as wicked, the passage thereby indicates that the behavior is within God's created realm.
Secondly, if the person is wicked, this seems to mean that they have wicked desires or act in wicked ways. But if the person, created by God, acts in a wicked way, his wicked behavior is caused by he himself, but he himself is caused by our God who knows the future perfectly. The idea that God created a man knowing that if He created the man, the man would do evil, places the cause of the doing of evil ultimately at God's feet.
If He didn't create them, they wouldn't be wicked. If He did create them, they would. He knew all of this, and chose to create them.
So, by indicating that people, who are caused by God, are wicked, the passage indicates that ultimately God caused the wickedness of the people.
Thirdly, if anything occurs that is not caused by God, then God is not rationally justified in holding to universal, invariant noncontradiction. Whatever caused this behavior may not hold to noncontradiction and may not behave in a noncontradictory way. Just because God wants it to be noncontradictory, that doesn't mean it will be -- God isn't in charge of it. If God doesn't have rational justification for holding to noncontradiction, then we sure don't, and all of a sudden "meaning" vanishes. Nothing can have meaning any longer, not a single thought, observation, word, or anything else, because it may mean the exact negation of what it means.
What exactly is a square-circle? Or a married bachelor? If there are square-circles, what exactly is a circle? It loses all definition when contradictions can be viable statements of truth. Everything does.
So, by conveying meaning to us, the passage mandates that all events are caused by God, including wicked behavior.
Having said all of that, wickedness is condemned by God, but all of us have done wickedly, you and I included (Romans 3:23; Psalm 14:3; Ecclesiastes 7:20). And the penalty for wicked behavior is death (Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:4; Hebrews 9:22). Fortunately for us, Jesus has offered us forgiveness for our wicked behavior (Matthew 9:6; Acts 26:18; Mark 2:10; Luke 5:24). He suffered and died in our place (1 Peter 3:18; John 11:49-52; Romans 3:25-26, 4:24-25), rising from the dead of His own power (John 2:19-22, 10:17), thereby demonstrating that He has power over death, which is the penalty of our sins, and can actually make good on His claim to be able to forgive us. He has offered us this forgiveness if we trust in Him (John 3:16-18, 11:25-26; Galatians 3:22; Acts 13:38-39).
This clearly implies that the wicked man has free will to turn (or not).
If the wicked man did not in fact have free will, it would be absurd for an omniscient god to desire him to turn, knowing full well that the wicked man did not have free will to do so.
Your comment was very funny but you've actually hit the nail on the head. In Tim's view, we have as much free will as a bowl of ice cream, i.e. none. We are "...crafted, designed and programmed by god". Our "...preferences, inclinations and desires..." have been "...carefully crafted by the god of the universe..." and "...when our will chooses to turn to god, it is always because god has caused it to do so". BTW there's no out-of-context BS here. I'm quoting Tim's exact words.
In other words, the wicked man is wicked because that's how god has programmed him, and he can only turn to god if god causes him to do so, in the same way that ice cream only goes into your mouth when you want it to.
So either (a) Tim is right and we don't have free will, which makes that bible verse (allegedly written by an omniscient god) absurd, or (b) Tim is wrong and we do have free will (which is what the verse clearly implies)
Tim says we don't have free will. Whatever we do, we do only because that's how god has programmed us OK?
So look at the verse. God says to the wicked man to "...turn away" from his wicked ways. Is god *asking* the wicked man to turn? Is he *commanding* him? Either way, the clear implication us that the wicked man has a choice -to obey or not to obey. The verse only makes sense if the wicked man has free will to make that choice.
But if we don't have free will, (like Tim says) the verse is absurd because god has programmed the wicked man to be wicked! If god wanted him to turn, god would make it happen, and in fact that's the only way it could happen. The wicked man isn't going to do it of his own free will, for the simple reason that he doesn't have free will.
Clearly, "but thou mayest rule over it;" Genesis 4.7 teaches that we have power over sin and Ezekiel 33.11 by the clear implication is that the wicked man has a choice - to turn or not to turn [away from sin]. These verses only make sense if the wicked man has free will to make the choice to rule over sin and to turn away from sin towards G-D.
Ezekiel 33.11 must be read in light of 33.14, and 15: "Again, when I say unto the wicked: Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; 15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give back that which he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die." and must be read in light of Ezekiel 33.19
Man was given the free will to eat or not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil; and, man likewise is free to turn away from evil and do good -
Verse 33.11 cannot be read in isolation: Ezekiel 33.14-15 says a wicked man can do "that which is lawful and right;" and if he does, verse 16 says [then] "none of his sin will be remembered!" ("Again, when I say unto the wicked: Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give back that which he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be remembered against him; he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live."
You've perhaps demonstrated from scripture that people choose to do evil and people choose to do good, and that there are consequences of their choices. But that was never in dispute. What is in dispute is what causes their choice. Under a divine determinism view, their choice is caused by God, like everything else that is not God Himself. On a free will view, the chooser's choice is not caused (in any sense whatsoever) by anything other than the chooser himself -- it is not even caused by whatever created the chooser and caused his will to exist.
To say "God gave someone free will" is to say "God caused to exist within someone a set of preferences, inclinations, and desires that God did not cause."
Gave: "caused to exist within someone"
Will: "a set of preferences, inclinations, and desires"
Free: "that God did not cause"
If you mean something different by free will, then the concept you are defending may not be the concept we are discussing.
Hope that makes sense