Yes, you are correct that willie is not responsible for his words also
...this is what God has given to Craig because God wants to teach Craig a lesson just as he taught Shimei a lesson after Solomon became king and dealt with Shimei for what he did to his father on that road.
Yes, God's sovereign will always trumps any other, and yes, without His intervention we'd all be "dead meat".
But given that ALL of the scriptures are literally saturated, from end-to-end, Genesis-to-Revelation, with words and examples which show us that not only does man also have a will, but that God is deeply concerned that we learn to exercise this will properly (i.e. in obedience to Him), and has provided both the means and the power to do so, how can you deny that an integral part of God's will, concerning mankind His creation, is to provide us with our own wills.
Dear Derek, thanks for writing. I have always maintained that we have wills. We are not robots. But we are vessels, some made by God for indignation and some for mercy. These vessels cannot say to God: Why have you made me thus? Yet God did.
We as humans plan, we dream of doing this or that, we desire certaing things in life. "The thoughts of the heart belong to man but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord." It could be that God will judge (set us straight) not just for what we do but more so for our improper thoughts concerning what we planned and did.
A good idea of this is to be found in James:
Jam 4:13-16 Come now, you who are saying, "Today or tomorrow we will be going into this or that city and should be spending a year there, and we will be trafficking and getting gain-" (14) who are not versed in that which is the morrow's, for what is your life? For a vapor are you, which is appearing briefly and thereupon disappearing-" (15) instead of your saying, "If the Lord should ever be willing, and we shall be living, we also shall be doing this or that." (16) Yet now you are vaunting in your ostentations. All such boasting is wicked.
Notice how the people involved in the scenario above have planned to go to this or that city and doing this and that while there. That is the realm of the human, to dream and plan on doing such things as that. Yet what does James say? What the individuals should say is "if we are living and if the Lord whould ever be willing we also shall be doing this or that." In other words, if the Lord is not willing, we won't have our plans fulfilled. And surely, if we die we won't. I can take this scenario and put all kinds of other scenarios into it . . . I want to go to the store. I want to go to this or that restaurant. I want to go to the bank. I want to fly to California. I want to repy to Derek's post. I want to go on a picnic etc. etc. etc. If God is not willing me to do any of those things then they won't get done. Any boasting otherwise is wicked, James says.
Yes, our wills can be and are influenced - by our own fleshly nature (by which alone we would be held fully captive had not God intervened), by spiritually wicked forces, by other people, and also by God's Spirit. In this sense, our wills are not "free" in the classically-debated sense (indeed, as Paul says, I think everyone would be much better off dropping the "free" in these kinds of discussions).
But to preach a doctrine that says we are not responsible for our words (and actions); that all words from every person reflect the will of God at all times - not only is that logically impossible (self-contradictory), as Paul also just pointed out, but downright unBiblical, against the teachings of the apostles, and frankly, quite dangerous.
If the Bible said we are responsible then I could believe it. It does not. It just says we will give an account (a word) concerning our actions. Neither guilt nor innocence is inherrent in the phrase "give an account."
Relatively speaking, human to human, there is a sense of responsibility. I am responsible for taking care of my daughter and what I say to her etc. But that is only in a relative sense. Absolutely speaking, if, at the end of my life I receive indignation as my judging then I am not responsible for that for God made me a vessel of indignation. The one who receives mercy was made a vessel of mercy (Romans 9). The vessel of mercy is not responsible for being made that way either. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Indeed, does not God's desire and ability to teach us "lessons", as you inferred you believe in your second comment quoted above, in itself require that the objects of these lessons possess a will - the ability to choose? Otherwise what could possibly be meant by someone "learning a lesson" - it MUST mean that they must learn to CHOOSE properly.
I believe God will teach us lessons in the future in the judging (in the setting right) how our thoughts were improper as to what was done. For instance, David had Uriah murdered so he could have Bathsheba. His thinking was all wrong. He probably thought it was all his fault. But he could not have done otherwise for it was in God's plan that Bathsheba be in the lineage of the Christ and that a Solomon be born from that marriage.
And as I said before concerning Shemei speaking harsh words to David while he was fleeing, God told Shimei to say those things. The Bible says so. But there was a two-fold reason: God wanted David humbled and wanted Shimei killed by Solomon.
The same when David said to number Israel. David's heart smote him for he thought he sinned. The Bible says Satan made him number them and the Bible also says God made him. David wrongly thought it was all his fault. In the judging God will show David he could not have done otherwise. What God was really after was to kill 70,000 men in Israel.
Pro 16:4 Yahweh has made everything for its own pertinent end,
Yea even the wicked for the day of evil."