The sudden and unexpected success of singer-songwriter Oliver Anthony, whose song, “Rich Men North of Richmond” became the No. 1 song on iTunes this month, spoke recently with podcast king Joe Rogan.
During the interview, Anthony spoke of his renewed faith in God and his concern that the lyrics of his song have been misrepresented.
Anthony credits the mercy of God and Scripture for saving him from suicide.
The Christian Post reported that the 31-year-old standout singer struggled in his adult years to make ends meet and that “his first paid gig was at a North Carolina farmer’s market just a few weeks ago.”https://twitter.com/JoeBichette/status/1696651839536615552
Anthony recalled that his music career began to take off after he recommitted himself to be a godly man: “I was just so at peace being up there,” it just felt like that’s where I was supposed to be. …There’s no way that [Oliver] from six months ago could handle what’s gone on the last two weeks, but I feel so empowered from all of it.”
The Farmville, Virginia, native noted that he grew up in church but fell away from religion over the years. Oliver shared that his depression led to thoughts of suicide, but his renewed faith helped him find peace:
“I’m telling you, like, again, I’m not anybody special,” Oliver said. “And I’m certainly not here to preach to anybody … but coming from somebody who was just in a really f—ed up place, and I used that word with discretion, but it just describes where I was. That guy found a lot of peace from [the Bible].”
Speaking of his spiral into despair, Oliver said: “I just felt hopeless, like almost the way a child feels hopeless when you can’t find your parent or something. Like a 4-year-old who can’t find his parents, I didn’t have anything left in me.
Oliver continued: “I don’t know, I just decided right then and there, I know I can’t do this anymore, but I know there are things I need to do. I just told God, let me do it and I’ll give all this s— up. I’ll give up the weed, and I’ll quit getting drunk, and I’ll quit being so angry about things … and I’ll start over again and make Him the focus and not me.”
Oliver noted that with God’s help, “I quit worrying about me, and I started worrying about what it is that I was supposed to do.” He added, “It talks in the Bible about being a servant. … I gave up my desire and my will and whatever it is that I want to do. It’s about trying to use what I have as a tool.”
“We all sin, and we all do stupid things; we’re all just people. Nobody’s special or righteous. People sometimes act like they’re special and righteous, but we’re all just the same thing. … We all serve some master whether we realize it or not, so why not let it be the Master that is above all.”
Reading from Proverbs 4:20-27, Oliver shared with Rogan how God has changed his life: “I feel like God is working inadvertently through certain people to get His point across. … It talks in the Bible about being a servant. … It’s about trying to use what I have as a tool vs. doing what I can in the moment to give myself whatever satisfaction it is I’m trying to get.”
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