Too many preachers and lay people have used Phil. 1:12-18 to excuse the errant rantings of their favorite speaker and to keep him/her in a place of 'good standing' and seemingly sound doctrine. All that is needed to keep his high status is the ability to speak fluent "Christian-ese", base your speech in the love that the world offers, accept any and all aberrant behavior in so-called Christians---especially preachers---and mention the name of the Lord Jesus as sparingly as possible in order to maintain the illusion that he actually speaks for God and has been so instructed by Him. But these verses do not in any way allow for this "luxury" of lying in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Nor do they provide the excuse for teaching another gospel just because the word "Jesus" is occasionally used by the speaker and yet this is exactly what these verses have been twisted into meaning.
Perhaps the finest example of this can be found from Jim McClarty as he found excuse after excuse to praise the prophet of the great whore---Billy Graham---and state in no uncertain terms that BG actually "preached the Gospel" and was an instrument in God's hands. His unbiblical and Christ dishonoring nonsense can be found on this blog under the title "Disappointing Message" dated Feb. 24, 2018. It can also be found on his website http://pastorjimmc.com/ along with his "life testimony" which is void of any mention of repentance and salvation. Perhaps this would be of little concern to some, but for me it is a HUGE red flag.
These verses in Philippians do not allow for the genuine "preaching of the Gospel" to be sullied with the cheap knock-off brand of decisional regeneration achieved through the activation of one's "free will" in order to attain to a perceived salvation---which is no salvation at all. Yet this is exactly the "gospel" that BG preached all of his life and for which he received praise and adulation from JM when he died for his years of faithful service. Faithful service to whom? Certainly not the Lord Jesus Christ who was despised and rejected by BG throughout his entire life.
The key to understanding what these verses mean and what they do not mean can be seen in vs. 15-18. Note v. 15 "Some indeed preach Christ from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill." Then in v. 18 we have "What then? Only in every way, whether in pretense or in truth Christ is preached..." Paul is referring to the motivation for the preaching of Christ and not the message preached. "Some indeed preach Christ from envy and strife..." Why this occurs is not made clear, likely it is due to jealousy, specifically "envy" of Paul's notoriety in the Church and the way he has been instrumental in the spreading of the Gospel. A well used tool of satan still in operation today is this envy. But it was CHRIST who was preached, not some half baked pseudo gospel that was half Christ and half works as is the case today. Paul questions the motivation of these preachers who seek to add affliction to him via their selfish ambition (v. 16) and NOT the message. When the true Gospel is preached all the born again rejoice. Paul rejoiced that the Gospel was being declared and not simply that the name of the Lord fell from the lips of some men. Saying the name "Jesus" and demonstrating a vast vocabulary of Christian words does not necessarily constitute the 'preaching of the Gospel'. When the true Gospel is diluted, changed, added to, or something removed from it, we should expose the evil and not let it slide---something that the world requires us to do in order to garner their good graces. The opinion of the world and whatever "graces" they may offer are of no interest to me, nor should they be to any of God's elect. No where in these verses is there allowance for an aberrant gospel to be the target of rejoicing, nor is there any praise to be found for those who practice such a blasphemous deed.
Mr. McClarty has two strikes against him. First and foremost is his lack of acknowledged repentance and salvation through Christ and second is his gushing and disgusting praise of the prophet of the great whore, Billy Graham. If indeed he is a false prophet, 'strike three' will likely be seen shortly. If, however, he is born again then may the Lord grant him repentance for His Name's sake.
"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan